Lush Life (2001)

Chaplin, Hagen, Anderson, Bloch, Mandel, Bonfa, Strayhorn, Gershwin, Burke, Dubin

Jacintha

 

Might as well admit my bias: Jacintha has become one of my favorite living female vocalists. I initially came across her work when my friend Paul Seydor, a senior writer for The Absolute Sound, gave me a copy of her first Groove Note album Here’s to Ben, a tribute to legendary tenor saxophonist Ben Webster. I don’t know which impressed me more: the lushness of her voice or the vividness of her interpretations. My enthusiasm intensified with her second Groove Note album Autumn Leaves:The Songs of Johnny Mercer, which
I reviewed. I likened my experience to being the last person in a small jazz club where she creates a direct link among her, the microphone, and the listener. The immediacy is uncommon.The sound of her breathing, which would be intrusive in other singers, is so sensuous that itadds to the beauty of her voice. The perfection of her diction is so palpable that you don’t just hear the words — you feel their significance.
Now, in her third Groove Note album Lush Life, she sounds even more sensuous while a new musical background “strings” has been added to what so far has been a compact jazz-group accompaniment. Although jazz and strings aren’t often paired, they can go together nicely. Clifford Brown worked with them. So have Charlie Parker, Ben Webster, Ella Fitzgerald, and Shirley Horn, to name a few great jazz interpreters of the American song book. But these are strings with a difference, thanks to Bill Cunliffe’s remarkable arrangements.A pianist and a composer, Cunliffe received a classical musical education at Duke University before switching to jazz.

 

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Jacintha

Jacintha is a popular vocalist, actress and journalist known for her performances and writing in both the United States and Singapore. She was born in 1957 to musician parents, the Sri Lankan classical guitarist Alex Abisheganaden, a recipient of the Cultural Medallion, and a Chinese mother who sang and played the piano. She studied piano and voice from her early teens and also sang in the Singapore Youth Choir, where she met her future collaborator Dick Lee.

Growing up, Jacintha listened to a wide variety of music – not only vocal jazz and traditional pop, but also artists who ranged from Stevie Wonder to Joni Mitchell to South African singer Miriam Makeba. Jacintha was a big fan of Brazilian bandleader Sergio Mendes during her upbringing. Jacintha was educated at Marymount Convent School, Raffles Institution and the National University of Singapore, where she graduated with an honors degree in English. She then went to America where she studied creative writing at Harvard University. Jacintha first came to prominence in 1976 when she won a local television talent contest, Talentime, singing jazz. She continued this winning streak in 1981, when she nabbed the Best Female Performer award for her role as Nurse Angamuthu in General Hospital at the Drama Festival.

In 1983, Jacintha released her debut album Silence. The new wave album, containing a cover of the Bee Gees' "Run to Me", was reviewed positively, with The Straits Times calling it "probably the most impressive debut album...from a local singer." In the mid-1990s, actor Lim Kay Tong introduced Jacintha to Ying Tan, who signed her to his Groove Note label. Her first jazz album was released in 1998: Here's To Ben – A Vocal Tribute To Ben Webster. Jacintha's second album for the Groove Note label, Autumn Leaves: The Songs of Johnny Mercer (1999) has seen the title track being used for TV series Alias, while the bonus track "Here's to Life" was used as the title track for the Hollywood movie Play It to the Bone.

In 2004, Jacintha performed her own cabaret jazz show, The Angina Monologues at the Old Parliament House, Singapore. In 2006, she served as a judge on the second season of Singapore Idol. In 2012, she returned to the stage after 13 years, playing herself in Ong Keng Sen's National Broadway Company, a musical commissioned for the Esplanade – Theatre on the Bay's 10th anniversary.

photo: from booklet 'The Girl from Bossa Nova'

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Lush Life (2001)

Chaplin, Hagen, Anderson, Bloch, Mandel, Bonfa, Strayhorn, Gershwin, Burke, Dubin

Jacintha

Cables: Audio Quest
Digital Converters: Sony Sonoma
Editing Software: Sonoma
Mastering Engineer: David Glasser - Airshow Mastering
Microphones: AKG, Neumann, Sennheiser
Producer: Joe Harley
Recording Engineer: Michael Ross
Recording location: OceanWay Recordings, Hollywood CA.
Recording Software: Sony
Recording Type & Bit Rate: 64fs

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GRV1011: Lush Life
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Tracks.
1.
Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
Dubin
00:04:55   Select quality & channels above
2.
Black Coffee
Burke
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3.
Summertime
Gershwin
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4.
Lush Life
Strayhorn
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5.
Manha De Carnival
Bonfa
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6.
Shadow Of Your Smile
Mandel
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7.
When The World Was Young
Bloch
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8.
September Song
Anderson
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9.
Harlem Nocturne
Hagen
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10.
Smile
Chaplin
00:02:27   Select quality & channels above

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