Judy Niemack vocals, Jeanfrançois Prins guitars, producer, arranger, Eddie Gomez bass, Lee Konitz alto saxophone, Café percussion, David Friedman vibes.
Judy Niemack is a gifted vocalist who moved to Europe to make her mark as a recording artist. Following a series of impressive releases for the now defunct Free Lance, she made this rewarding session for the German unit of Sony. Joined by an outstanding band that includes guitarist/arranger Jeanfrançois Prins, bassist Eddie Gomez, alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, vibraphonist David Friedman, and percussionist Café, Niemack’s wide-ranging choice of material and infectious voice keep things interesting, with many of the pieces having a “time” theme in their titles. She penned hopeful lyrics to Pat Metheny’s “Talk Awhile” (originally titled “[It’s Just] Talk”) and delightfully scats in unison along with Prins and Friedman. Niemack’s subtle arrangement of “Sometime Ago” is an object of beauty, while her playful side comes across in the sexy rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” Her haunting treatment of “‘Round Midnight” features Prins and Gomez, adding Lee Konitz’s emotional alto sax solo. Since many of the songs on this CD were associated with the late pianist Bill Evans, it shouldn’t be surprising that she would choose one of his compositions. “Time Remembered” is one of his more difficult ballads, but Niemack (together with Prins and Gomez, the latter Evans’ bassist for over 11 years) negotiates its challenges with finesse. Prins switches to acoustic guitar for the trio’s powerful interpretation of Denny Zeitlin’s beautiful requiem “Quiet Now.” Highly recommended. Ken Dryden – All Music