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  • Jonathan Widran

JACK WOOD, The Gal That Got Away

A mainstay on the Southern California jazz scene both as concert producer and singer, the silky smooth yet emotionally powerful Jack Wood chooses the most ironic title possible for his latest album considering the beautiful surprise amongst its 12 tracks.

He titles it The Gal That Got Away after his sultry, smoky male-perspective twist on the Judy Garland classic, one of ten lushly arranged, alternately swinging and intimate standards he performs with either a traditional small ensemble or the big band bravura of The Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra.

Wood gives away the special addition with the lovely photograph on the album cover of his friend, vocalist Nichaud Fitzgibbon, recognized as Australia’s premier jazz stylist. Riffing on the album title, it’s a good thing she didn’t get away! When he discovered her, he made it his mission to give American listeners (particularly his fans) an opportunity to check her out. Her stylish, sassy approach to the brass-fired romp “It’s Crazy” and the hushed, haunting and romantically longing ballad “After Hours” pops big here as if she had taken center stage from Wood for a few numbers during a live performance.

While Wood promises a duet album in the future, for now we can enjoy her momentary spotlights amidst a sea of Woods’ inimitable interpretations of amiable gems (some more familiar than others) like “Gypsy in My Soul,” “I Will Wait For You,” “Secret Love,” “Come Rain or Come Shine” and “Someone To Watch Over Me.”    


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