Judy Niemack: Night and The Music

Ordinarily, I’d hate to go so far as to say an album is worth getting based on one song alone. However, Judy Niemack’s rendering of Jacques Brel’s “La Chanson Des Vieux Amants” on …Night and the Music is so breathtaking to qualify as exactly that.

That’s not to dis the rest of the disc. Niemack performs like the pro songbird that she is throughout. Her voice evokes a blend of innocence and worldliness. Her facile group features Kenny Werner, Ray Drummond, Billy Hart and Jeanfrancois Prins, plus cellist Erik Friedlander as special guest on “La Chanson.”

Niemack’s wiliness and wit emerges in the repertoire as well as her sassy delivery. For “A Crazy Song to Sing” she penned humorous lyrics to Thelonious Monk’s “Misterioso,” which includes the line, “It’s just a pretty little ditty by a virtuoso.”

Singers will tell you they perform tunes with lyrics they relate to. This is more evident with certain singers. Based on this performance, Niemack is one who clearly selects material that captures her heart and mind.