Hinda Hoffman Trio
Too often it seems that one’s ability to scat sing is a key measure of the jazz vocalist, and while wordless improvising is a rare and difficult skill, it tends to overwhelm the more fundamental requirements of jazz singing. Hinda Hoffman has those in abundance. As Neil Tesser wrote in the Chicago Reader, “Hoffman has a rich ruby instrument, dark and full and at times gleaming; like Dexter Gordon’s tenor or Jim Hall’s guitar, it would attract attention even if she had no idea what to do with it.” What she does with it isn’t splashy or aggressive, which makes her unusual in an era marked by extravagant expression.
Hoffman is a student of jazz standards, respecting and understanding melody and rhythm, suggesting a modern day Rosemary Clooney. She doesn’t toy around too much with words and lines: she sings the American songbook with precision, a sharp sense of time, and deep affection, like a first language. This afternoon she performs with bassist Dennis Carroll and pianist Ron Perrillo, two players who share her encyclopedic grasp on jazz standards.