Jan Cronin, I Thought About You Review
Jan Cronin’s I Thought About You: An Eclipsing Ode to the American Songbook
By Constance Tucker
Picture this: a stage bathed in soft, amber light, awaiting a voice that’s been through the crucible of blues, pop, rock, and now jazz. Jan Cronin, once a raucous band’s leading lady and a bluesy siren, has turned a corner, a bend so significant that she finds herself in the plush, velvety realm of jazz standards. What emerges is a transcendent walk-through time that showcases Cronin’s vocal skill and versatility. I Thought About You, is nothing less than a revelatory experience. From the swinging cadence of “‘S Wonderful” to the moody atmosphere of “The Scent of Breakfast and You,” Cronin envelopes us in her journey. Let’s dive deep into this hauntingly beautiful spectacle.
For Cronin, jazz is not just another stop on her musical odyssey; it’s a bold declaration of her mastery over her craft. Departing from her previous blues/pop/rock ventures, this is a gutsy move in a music landscape that’s reveling in raw emotions. This album isn’t a detour; it’s a destination she’s been heading toward, even if we, and perhaps she herself, didn’t know it.
In I Thought About You, Cronin enriches the vocal jazz canon with her intriguing takes on the classic repertoire with sprinkling of originality. Let’s not just skirt around it: jazz standards have been sung to the point of exhaustion. But here, Cronin isn’t just singing; she’s conversing with history, and she’s doing it with a diction so clear, you’d think she’s etching each word into the record grooves. Her timbre dances, a fluid movement between notes that reflects years spent on mastering breath control and vocal resonance.
“‘S Wonderful” is the opener; the tempo swings you into an instant state of delight. Cronin articulates each word as if she’s laying bricks of joy. Andy Reiss’s guitar and Jim Ferguson’s bass are outstanding accompanists; they’re in a sublime dialogue with Cronin’s vocals. The musicality here moves past the notes and rhythms; it’s an expression of emotional beats.
“I Thought About You” finds Cronin breaking the mold of predictability. Her phrasing is cleverly experimental, yet reverent. She dances around and with the melody, embellishing it in a way that makes you feel like you’re discovering the song for the first time. She is swinging; she’s soaring on the wings of creative freedom.
“The Scent of Breakfast and You,” Cronin’s original piece, is the jewel in this auditory crown. Her vocal phrasing is expressive; it’s poignant. Her bluesy roots peek through, not as a nostalgic call-back but as an intrinsic part of her complex musical persona. This song serves as an emotional crescendo, an epitome of Cronin’s versatility as a vocalist.
Stripped-down doesn’t always mean simple. The unobtrusive production quality of the album showcases what Cronin can do with just the raw sinew of her voice. The album’s aural atmosphere is so intimate, you might find yourself holding your breath, lest you break the spell.
I Thought About You is a jazz album; it’s a momentous chapter in the story of a woman whose vocal cords are strung with the fibers of multiple genres. This album is a touchstone in her career, a bookmark that her future self will thank her for. We, as listeners, are merely privileged to be along for this magnificent ride. Cronin’s album is heard; it’s felt deep within the soul. And that, dear readers, is the hallmark of a truly great vocalist.
Through each track, Cronin does not merely sing; she embodies the very essence of each lyric, each melody, and each emotion. This isn’t just an album; it’s a time capsule, a mosaic of musical epochs crafted not just by a singer but a storyteller. Her voice serves as both the narrative and the punctuation, propelling us through a tale that only she could tell so richly. With I Thought About You, Jan Cronin doesn’t just contribute to the world of jazz—she transcends it.