Artist: Jill Jensen
CD Title: Seems Like Dreams
Record Label: Frozen Sky Records
Style: Jazz Vocals
Musicians: Jill Jensen (vocal), Jack Grassel
(guitar), Rick Embach (vibes), Marlene Rosenberg (bass), Ernie Adams
Review: Jill Jensen is well known to the citizens of Racine, WI
where, for 10 years, she has appeared as a TV spokesperson for one of
Racine's most successful automobile dealers. She has also gained fame
locally as an actress and through singing engagements with her husband,
guitarist Jack Grassel.
Although Jill doesn't mention any prime influences, I detect touches of
such stars as Jeri Southern, Chris Connor and Peggy Lee. Ms. Jensen is
smooth and confident when working with this fabulous quartet. As a first
time listener to Jensen's work, I could not avoid feeling the
"smile" in her vocal delivery. Stage presence will never be a
problem for this newcomer to the jazz scene.
Guitarist Jack Grassel truly deserves equal billing with the singer.
Together, they have chosen first class material from the likes of Johnny
Mercer, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, Gus Kahn, Isham Jones and Hoagy
Carmichael. Jack is an exceptional jazz musician who plays in a straight
ahead style and has been ranked among the "Top 10" guitarists
by "Guitar Now" magazine. He also writes a column for
"Just Jazz Guitar".
Grassel carefully selected some of Chicago's best jazz performers for
this session and the result is wonderful. The tunes include Where or
When, Skylark, I'm All Smiles, Witchcraft, You'd Be So Nice to Come Home
To, and a "knockout" version of It Had to Be You. Add a wildly
seductive rendition of "One For My Baby" and this CD is a most
satisfying listening experience.
"Seems Like Dreams" deserves top marks for originality and
musicianship. Special mention must be made with regard to the
superlative bass playing of Marlene Rosenberg.
Reviewed by: Richard Boucier