Scott Yanow, May 10, 2018
A talented jazz and ballad singer based in Ontario, Canada, Mary-Catherine Pazzano has an attractive high voice and a subtle improvising style. While she is involved in jazz education (founding and directing both Jazz In The Schools and Jazz For Adults), she is also very active as a performer. You’re Gonna Hear From Me is her debut CD as a leader.
Ms. Pazzano is joined on the project by pianist Don Buchanan, bassist Pat Collins, drummer Steve James and occasionally Jason Hunter on tenor and soprano. Each of the musicians consistently gives her sympathetic support with occasional brief solos.
The set begins with a welcome revival of the title cut. “You’re Gonna Hear From Me.” The Andre Previn song from the movie Inside Daisy Clover perfectly fits the singer’s pretty voice and her wide range. She next performs the lesser-known Harry Warren ballad “Friendly Star” and a warm piece that she co-composed with Don Buchanan, “A Simple Conversation.” “All the Things You Are” is given an unusual but effective treatment, starting out with some wordless classical-type singing that makes the piece sound as if it was written by Bach before the familiar melody emerges.
While the emphasis on the program is on thoughtful ballads, there are a few exceptions, most notably a happily swinging version of “It’s De-Lovely” that includes some fine tenor playing. Her version of Jobim’s “How Insensitive” has a mysterious and haunting feeling to it that is quite atmospheric. A tender rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “River” precedes a fine version of “Charade” (which has a bit of Ms. Pazzano’s scatting) and the Bergman’s thoughtful ballad “Alone In The World,” both of which are performed tastefully.
The last three performances on the CD are among the set’s highpoints. A logical medley of “Manhattan” and “New York State Of Mind” goes from sweet to bluesy. “I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me” is a real swinger that cooks. Then, for a closing surprise, Ms. Pazzano sings one chorus of the sad and quietly dramatic “A Cottage For Sale” as an unaccompanied vocal.
You’re Gonna Hear From Me is an excellent debut from a singer who, indeed, much more will be heard from in the future.
Scott Yanow, jazz journalist/historian and author of 11 books including The Jazz Singers, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76