Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Fair Affair (Music Review: Amy Hancock, Love Affair)

On one end, I am glad that so many people sing the Great American Standards. I don't think it will disappear any time soon as more and more people discover ti, and keep it alive everyday. However, we get so many versions of some of these standards that are so derivative. Consider, for example, Amy Hancock's "Love Affair," which is an album from 2008. Ms. Hancock is a jazz singer from North Carolina - I wonder if she voted for Jesse Helms? -  and there really isn't anything too wrong in her singing, or this album. But, it's so unmemorable. Her clear slightly pitchy voice isn't offensive, but its blandness is. At first, there is a bit of coziness in her slowed-down delivery, but it doesn't progress to anything as memorable a la Helen Merrill's, who mastered that art. And her tempi doesn't help much. She would be that kind of singer who would catch your attention at a hotel bar lobby. You would think, well this is nice, a fine break from the pop music from the cab. But as soon as you leave the bar, you instantly forget her,  her music, and the bar. Sadly, this album falls in the same category. The most wonderful thing about the greats - Ella, Sarah, Peggy, Dinah - is that they are son wonderfully unique from each other, yet exudes the same sensibility. I have listened to his album three times now (in a row) and I don't think I would identify her in s jazz singer row. Sad. 

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