As a matter or fact, all the ballads in the album have a high charged emotional density, without ever turning into melodrama — this is probably due to Libor Smoldas’ earthy lyricism, Jakub Zomer’s ability to create haunting sonic undercurrents, and Sacha Kloostra’s carefully timed explosions, not to mention Ingrid James’ masterful control of her instrument.
Denson and James sign five of the album’s twelve songs, all works of exemplary craftmanship that deserve a place in the Australian Jazz canon (if there is such a thing). My personal favourites are the upbeat ‘Wild December Wind’ and the introspective ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ (I’m a sucker for 3/4 tunes); both perfect vehicles for Ingrid James to showcase her ability to convey real, almost tangible, emotions. You can feel her voice embracing and caressing you.
– Which song reminds you of your most important rite of passage?
Ingrid James: One of the many rites of passage was Spain – both Chick Coreas and Al Jarreaus version. In my twenties, I hopped up on stage with a jazz band in West Berlin and sang it cold with them. That was a brave moment for me.’ Spain ‘wasnt just a normal standard at the time.
” It’s our intention to make this yearly event a flagship for Queensland Vocal Jazz by providing significant career opportunities, job creation and promotion of jazz artists. We want to celebrate the diversity of the jazz vocal art form which encompasses everything from original works to original reinterpretations of jazz standards – mainstream and contemporary as well as jazz vocal improvisation.”
This collection of songs retains some true grit and jazz light and shade, yet steers clear of the miasmic mists that afflict the jazz vocal recordings at the other end of the spectrum.