Julie Hardy (vcl), Rob Stillman (ts), Randy Ingram (p), Ben Street (b), Adam Cruz (d)
Bar code: 8427328422154
"There is a paradigm taking shape for the contemporary jazz vocalist that, while not unprecedented, promises to elevate our expectations and put to rest any notions about singers being a species apart. More and more, the new voices emerging these days are the voices of complete musicians. The best of them are comfortable with or without words, functioning as composers and interpreters, arrangers and improvisers. Julie Hardy is one of these voices."
- Bob Blumenthal
"Julie Hardy's first album, A Moment's Glance, is a good representation of the hard-working jazz vocalist as she pursues frequent appearances in lower Manhattan's jazz clubs with her working band.
Hardy is New Hampshire-educated and received a Masters in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory in 2001. A year leter, she was one of two nationwide vocalists selected for the Jazz Academy Snowmass in Aspen, Colorado. In 2003, Hardy placed in the Top Ten, from a field of 200 applicants, in the Jazz Connect Vocal Jazz Competition and the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead held at Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center. She has worked with Fred Hersch, Sheila Jordan, and Rebecca Paris and is inspired by the work of vocalists Dominique Eade and Luciana Souza as well as trumpeter/composer John McNeil.
Hardy utilizes a well-chosen list of eight tunes to showcase her singing and compositional abilities. The standards are well served by Rob Stillman's tenor sax filigrees and solos as he prods the singer on in songs both tender (the Lennon-McCartney And I Love Him) and uptempo (Cole Porter's It's All Right With Me). Pianist Randy Ingram's sympatico accompanyment and solos are also well represented. The Rodgers & Hart classic My Romance and Schwartz & Dietz tune Haunted Heart round out the Great American Songbook; Hardy's sensitive delivery on a rarely heard vocal version of the latter makes it the best piece on the album.
The remaining tracks are all Hardy originals. No Turning Back begins as a balladic duet with Ingram and then picks up tempo and heat as Stillman and the group join in with Hardy's vocalese. The title track sounds like a potential jazz ballad in the making and was inspired by an album by pianist Fred Hersch and vocalist Norma Winstone. Growing features Hardy's lyrics, along with her ability to provide meaningful vocalese. The closer, Real Lies, is all vocalese, with tasty work from Ingram and Stillman."
- Michael P. Gladstone, All About Jazz
"Julie Hardy's newly issued debut CD, "A Moment's Glance" (Fresh Sound New Talent), introduces a singer well equipped to handle everything modern jazz vocalism demands: candlelit standards ("My Romance"), repurposed pop hits ("And I Love Him"), effortless improvisation and a strong writer's pen. Saxist Rob Stillman surrounds Hardy's dark-velvet voice with breathy intimacies; the rhythm section of Randy Ingram, Ben Street, and Adam Cruz keep things on a steadt simmer."
- Time Out New York
"Never has a label better lived up to the promise of its name than Fresh Sounds New Talent. Making her debut, singer Julie Hardy is the latest ?nd for the label and the only American singer on its roster. Taking on a program that ranges from Rogers and Hart to a few originals (she was a composition major at University of New Hampshire), Hardys voice is acrobatic and pliable but she doesnt rub her formidable skills in your face, delivering the words in a tone that is often soft and impressionistic as Luciana Souza. Shes also a musician as much as a singer of lyrics as she dives into rhythms and harmonies (Patricia Barber comes to mind here), using a musical intellect that is bright and intuitive. Hardy is solidly backed by a young quartet of players here, but can also be found performing with established folks like Joel Frahm, Mark Murphy and Fred Hersch, which is great endorsement in itself."
Tad Hendrickson, Jazz Week, March 2005