The hip, colorful and retro green-tinted packaging of Hannah Gill’s full length debut album Everybody Loves a Lover indicates that the 11 traditionally arranged tracks of exuberant love and tender, wistful heartbreak were recorded in October 2022. Yet if you didn’t know that the silky voiced vocalist was an accomplished young contemporary vocal interpreter who performed around the world with Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox and held court in Brooklyn everry week with the XIV Burlesque Theatre Company, you might be inclined to think these re-imagined gems from a bygone were tracked anytime from the 20’s to the 50’s and simply remastered for our pleasure in 2023.
Though Gill has a ten-year discography of singles and EPs to her credit, her pairing with Turtle Bay Records is both fortuitous and essential for her to share a deeper artistry rooted in her passion for musical romance from those bygone eras. Formed by businessman and swing era devotee Scott Asen, Turtle Bay is dedicated to showcase contemporary jazz artists playing the best tunes of yesteryear.
Gill’s supple vocals, which can turn from chipper cheer to aching melancholy at the drop of a proverbial needle, create compelling emotional focal points throughout, and the brass-tinged arrangements are stellar, from the peppy intro of “Moonlight Saving Time” through the zippy, rambunctious “It’s a Sin To Tell A Lie.” Yet what makes this collection fresh and unique is her choice of offbeat material, which rather than trot out the GAS standards we’ve heard a million times, challenges the listener, while enjoying Gill’s sparkling new twists, to head down the Google and YouTube rabbit hole (as she did) on a journey of discovery.
Much of her inspiration comes from finding fab material from her personal influences, such as Blossom Dearie’s “Moonlight Saving Time,” Ella Fitzgerald’s “I Fell in Love With a Dream," the Nat Cole Trio-popularized “What Can I Say After I Say I’m Sorry” and a winsome jaunt through Doris Day’s “Put ‘Em In a Box,” a Jule Styne/Sammy Cahn bauble from the soundtrack of the 1948 film Romance on the High Seas. In many ways, the opportunity to embrace Hannah Gill’s coming out party as a timeless romancer of classic tunes is the musical equivalent of watching black and white Turner Classic Movies and loving gems that were always there but you may never have known otherwise.