My Kinda Jazz Gal (Music Thoughts: Tina May, My Kinda Love)

So many contemporary jazz singers, so little time.  Apparently Tina May  (I confused her with the American actress) is a major deal in the London jazz scene, but I confess I have never heard of her. Or perhaps I have, but never really paid attention. May has a clear voice, and a nice languid style, which reminds me of Helen Merrill. She uses it well, working around tenor saxophonist Frank Griffin’s thoughtful arrangements. I played the album twice already, and like it lots, but I felt like there is more to discover here. It’s that type of album where there is such magnificent subtlety in her delivery, and the arrangements that you sometimes exclaim, “wow, I didn’t realize she did it like that)  For example, the sbaik silent phases in “I’m Through With Love” needs careful listening (this will not work as background music, folks) And even when she swings in “My Kinda Love,” you know there’s some lyric interpretation brewing in her mind. But my most favorite track is Duncan Lamont’s “Where Were You IN April,” a song I really should champion, but honestly just want to keep near and dear to my heart.

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