HANNAH GILL is a vocalist whose debut album, EVERYBODY LOVES A LOVER, comprises eleven swing-era tunes that were composed from the 1920s through the 1950s. She is joined on the album by a band of top-notch East Coast musicians who share Gill’s passion for the danceable rhythms and melodic riffs that characterize this music. Joining Gill are trumpeter DANNY JONOKUCHI (who leads his own 17-piece big band and co-wrote the arrangements for this album), saxophonist and clarinetist RYAN WEISHEIT, trombonist SAM CHESS, guitarist GREG RUGGERIO, pianist GORDON WEBSTER (a fixture in the global Lindy Hop scene), bassist TAL RONEN, and drummer BEN ZWEIG.
Still a young woman, Gill’s voice is warm and mature with a deep-rooted feeling for jazz. Although she cites Blossom Dearie, Anita O’Day, and especially Ella Fitzgerald (she has a tattoo of Ella on her ankle) as her main inspirations, her vocals are also inflected with blues and soul. She stays true to the original music but brings it into the 21st century.
Gill spent countless hours listening to music on YouTube and sharing ideas with friends to choose the songs for this project. She says, “I divided the album into two types of songs. For anyone listening to the album on vinyl, Side A (or the first 6 tunes on CD) is about love makers, while Side B (the remaining 5 songs) is about heart breakers.”
EVERYBODY LOVES A LOVER is being released on Turtle Bay Records, spearheaded by Scott Asen, a devotee of swing-era music. Asen, a career businessman and a true jazz lover, began Turtle Bay Records to showcase the best contemporary jazz artists playing the best tunes of yesteryear. Asen first heard Gill sing at one of his house parties for jazz aficionados, where he invites local musicians to perform. He then went on to see her at a host of other venues in the city and decided to offer her a record deal for an album on his newly formed label.
Some of the songs are a nod to Hannah’s favorite singers. The 1931 song “Moonlight Saving Time” was sung by Blossom Dearie, while “I Fell in Love with a Dream” was written by Ella Fitzgerald for her 1939 album Betcha Nickel. Gill also culled songs from the oeuvres of Nat King Cole and Doris Day. “What Can I Say After I Say I’m Sorry” was written by Walter Donaldson and Abe Lyman in 1926 and rejuvenated by The Nat Cole Trio in 1946, while “This Will Make You Laugh” was written by Irene Higginbotham and first released by the Trio in 1941. Doris Day sang ”Put ‘Em in a Box” by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn in the 1948 movieRomance on the High Seas, and “Everybody Loves a Lover,” the title track, was a hit single for her in 1958.
Other classic songs include “You Were Only Fooling,” “You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me,” “Lullaby of the Leaves,” and “Autumn Leaves.” Gill closes the album with a rollicking version of “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie.”
With Gill’s weekly gigs and her performances with the XIV Burlesque Theater Company in Brooklyn several nights a week, you might say her career is in full swing these days. The refreshing arrangements, the outstanding musicianship, and, of course, Gill’s alluring vocals make EVERYBODY LOVES A LOVER a compelling debut album and a refreshing addition to the movement.
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