In these days when people want things done quickly, results immediately, vocalist Kris Gayle reminds us to relax and enjoy the ride.
Her latest effort, 8 a.m., is a long, luxurious affair. At ease and full of patience, Gayle carefully builds each song with craftsman-like precision. While other singers burn hot and quick, Gayle operates at a slow simmer. Her gentle, unhurried approach is a reminder of past days.
Tracks on the CD include several standards, but the emphasis is on songs written by jazz artists, including Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderly, Miles Davis, and Ray Brown. The title track, written by pianist Viv Rodd and Gayle, is the lone original number on the 12-track CD. The pair released "Dedicated to You," a live duo recording, in 2004.
There are a few mid-tempo songs on the new release, but the CD’s many ballads serves as its heart. The British vocalist opens with a shimmery version of Evan’s and Cassandra Wilson’s "Blue In Green," serving as the album’s most modern-sounding tune. "It Never Entered My Mind" by Rodgers and Hart is one of the standouts, with Gayle’s warm, mature vocals caressing each syllable of the wordy song. She also delivers an elegant performance of "Some Other Time," which features Rodd’s lovely playing.
The tasteful accompaniment found throughout the album suits Gayle’s understated style.
Trumpet legend Humphrey Lyttelton called Gayle "Cornwall’s best secret." The new CD should help spread the word.