Glennda Hill’s debut album Angel Eyes is a faithful-to-the-originals collection of jazz classics and some that could be classics, evoking Peggy Lee, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Billie Holiday, and Rodgers & Hart.
Highlights include “My Funny Valentine,” “All of Me,” “I Love Being Here with You,” and Hill’s arrangement of the medley “Straight No Chaser/Route 66.” The liner notes list 10 songs, but wait for a nice, extended hidden-track performance of “When I Fall in Love.” Hill regularly sings with the Arthur Riddles Trio, and the Dallas group backs her admirably here. She also has performed with the Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Sambuca Big Band, and the Pete Peterson Orchestra. Special guest guitarist David Burris lends a hand here. Co-produced by Riddles and Tommy Stanco over four and a half years, Angel Eyes takes the listener to a dark, intimate hotel lounge where jazz is always straight-ahead. Only occasionally does Hill’s good voice strain to hit a note. But it’s a small price to pay for an otherwise enjoyable debut.-Tom Geddie