Jenny Davis,
It Amazes Me
(self-produced, 2005)

It Amazes Me is about love, and Jenny Davis sings of when it goes well -- as well as when it doesn't. Her vocals are very clear, making the lyrics easy to hear and the twang she adds for the first song gives the song an extra kick. The musicians backing her are also very good and help to create the mood of the CD.

The music of "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" starts off with the bass on its own, and then there is a progression until the full band is going. A pair of songs about love lost are put together, "What'll I Do/The Tennessee Waltz," and you can feel the switch but her delivery helps tie the two together. The blues continue into "Born to be Blue," and you can almost taste the sorrow in the words. The brighter edges that she hinted at bloom to fullness in "Joy Spring," the lyrics bubbling out very quickly in places.

Her voice drifts gently in "Dindi" as a quiet passion flows through the melody and words. Love remains at the heart of the next song; "It Amazes Me" is a response to the mirror of another's eyes. There is a childlike feel created by the delivery and the lyrics of "Dat Dere." It slides back to build on the mood set by "Dindi" and "It Amazes Me" in "Make Someone Happy." The arc continues through "Beautiful Love" and the sorrows of the early songs is now complete replaced by joy.

Both parts of "Scrapple from the Apple/Honeysuckle Rose" dance quickly as both music and words are delivered crisply. The melancholic "You Don't Know What Love Is" pulls to the threads tying the songs together to the fore. The heart of this CD lies in "Answer the Call," one of the best songs on the CD. She lightens the mood with "Just Squeeze Me" and you are released with a smile.

It Amazes Me never becomes sappy or overly sentimental; Jenny's voice and the music keep the songs feeling real. There are some very beautiful love songs on the CD, just as there is some wonderful jazz to be found here.

by Paul de Bruijn
24 February 2007

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