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Ginger & Scott : Dreamsville

She’s based on the West Coast. He’s primarily an easterner. Each boasts an impressive résumé. She’s worked with Flora Purim, Kenny Rankin, Paul Smith and her own band, GingerSnaps. He was a member of the Nat Adderley Sextet, taught at Rutgers, and currently maintains bicoastal incarnations of his own Jazz Orchestra. When singer Ginger Berglund and vocalist/trombonist Scott Whitfield join forces, comparison to one of the all-time great jazz twosomes-husband-and-wife hipsters Jackie Cain and Roy Kral-is all but inevitable. That Ginger and Scott share the same keen instincts as Jackie and Roy, plus an equitable playfulness (not to mention a common appreciation for such superior songwriters as Dave Frishberg, Fran Landesman, Tommy Wolf and Bob Dorough), is immediately obvious.

What’s lacking is the innate sense of cool, the bohemian sangfroid, that elevated Cain and Kral to a modish strata all their own. Ginger and Scott are a bit more uptown, a degree glitterier, rather like the Times Square answer to Jackie and Roy’s Greenwich Village. Which in no way diminishes the multihued delights they serve up on this 13-track platter, ranging from the hazy yearning of Dorough’s “But for Now” and sage cynicism of Frishberg’s “Wheelers and Dealers” to the reverential joy of Landesman and Wolf’s “You Inspire Me” and breezy bounce of the duo’s own “Pardon Me While I Fall in Love.”

Originally Published