One of the real pleasures of the 2014 and 2015 Mike Durham Classic Jazz Party is getting to hear the delightful song stylist Janice Day at length. She has her own style, and that’s a very good thing: a kind of delicate intensity that harks back to the girlish singers of the Twenties without being a copy of their most recognizable gestures. She’s instantly appealing — without trying too hard.
Here’s a sweet vignette from this year’s Party — with Janice in front of a small band: solos by Matthias Seuffert and Duke Heitger, over a rhythm section of Keith Nichols, Henry Lemaire, Richard Pite, and Nicholas Ball. The song is a 1938 pop hit by Johnny Burke and James V. Monaco, who wrote consistently for Bing Crosby’s films, ON THE SENTIMENTAL SIDE:
I think that Billie Holiday’s version has made the deepest impression, but for a song to have been recorded by Bing, Billie, and Louis (his version at a much brisker tempo) in the same year says something about its tender qualities. Here’s Janice’s sweet exploration — under three minutes, but she gets her sentimental message across with ease and clarity. Beneath the glamour, there’s a deeply engaging artist:
I will be sharing more of Janice’s music in the weeks to come — but you can also visit her Facebook page and the website devoted to her collaborations with the wonderful pianist Martin Litton, here. On that site, you can see a number of charming videos of Janice and Martin in performance — several of which I was fortunate enough to record. More to come!
May your happiness increase!