Jill Seifers

The Waiting

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The Waiting is Jill Seifers' debut album as a leader. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music where she met drummer Jorge Rossy (and did time in vocal classes with Paula Cole and Lalah Hathaway), Seifers is more than ready to take on the material she's chosen here. A disciplined singer with a complex and complete control over both her material and the band, she treats standards such as Duke Ellington's "Solitude," and swinging pop songs like Frank Loesser's "I've Never Been in Love Before," as well as modern pop tunes like Billy Joel's "And So It goes," with equal aplomb. She can scat, soar, simmer, shimmy, and lilt that voice of hers in an understated whisper or a pronounced wail. There are a number of surprises here, in her taking on Mingus' "Eclipse," or Miles Davis' "Four," or Jimi Hendrix's "May This Be Love," all tunes which require a vision of integration and the foresight to bring them to an accomplished group of jazz sidemen like those assembled here in Rossy, pianist Michael Kamman, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, and bassist Joe Martin, and rework them for a singer to climb over them. But perhaps the most telling tracks on the set are her haunted reading of Luiz Bonfa's slow bossa "Gentle Rain" and two originals, the title track and "Shallow Dreamers," that walk a line between classic smoky torch jazz and pop. This is a fine debut by a singer we will no doubt hear from more.

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