JWQ Showcase 2017

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

USA: Jill Jack and the American Songbook Band-Pure Imagination(2016)

Jill Jack and the American Songbook Band | Pure Imagination 

About five years ago, Ron Pangborn (my drummer of 16 years in the Jill Jack Band) and I had tossed around the idea of doing jazz standards as when I was younger my parents used to take me to different piano bars in Detroit because they really enjoyed listening to jazz.

One of the spots was Little Harry's where there was an amazing older jazz man named Ernie Swan. I used to sit next to his piano and he started asking me to sing. He taught me Billie Holiday and other standards. Those times with Ernie really taught me a lot of what I could do with my voice.

So after a lot of pushing from Ron to form a band for fun on some of our slow times, I finally bit the bullet about a year and a half ago and put together a jazz band with the likes of Bobby Streng, Takashi Iio, Kris Kurzawa, Ron Pangborn, and Dale Grisa. To say the least I was excited. We started getting regular gigs and after performing at the DIA - people were asking if I had music to sell, so we decided we should put an album out.

I was very specific about the songs I selected. Each one has a special meaning for me. Songs like Alfie and Moon River were sung by my grandfather when I was a kid. I love Burt Bacharach and so we had to do more than one! Other songs just seemed to land in the sweet spot of my vocal chords and the band was very instrumental (no pun intended) in voicing their choices as well. The studio sessions were so enjoyable due to the constant collaboration, which is such a departure from me always being at the helm for my normal Jill Jack stuff. That is how “Pure Imagination” was born!