Gail Pettis, “Here In The Moment”
by Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat, August 2010
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A former orthodontist, Pettis finds new vistas of emotion in the words and music of standards and surprises on her second album. Her wonderful version of “I Thought About You,” usually identified with Ella Fitzgerald, reflects the melancholy of a sad-faced train passenger with an intimacy that few singers in any genre have knowledge of. Another ballad, “How Did He Look?” a favorite of cabaret singer Mabel Mercer, is rendered poignantly with an easy elegance built of curiosity and lingering heartbreak over a lost love affair. This granddaughter of a Mississippi bluesman freshens Cole Porter’s “Night And Day” with exhilaration over sharing “sweet love” with her partner. Similarly, the directness of feeling she reveals about a blossoming romance does more than ample justice to Etta James’ old r&b hit “At Last.” All the other songs, too, whatever the tempo or mood, each graced by the surety of her delivery, have an unmistakable air of honesty about them. Minor compliant: Pettis’ two pianists and bassists are clearly talented by their solos don’t so much develop the songs as mark time between verses.
(excerpt of a two album review, Gail Pettis and Pamela Rose)