Gail Pettis' new CD, Here in the Moment, is a throwback to the 1950s, when singers crawled inside a song and moved it around a bit while delivering a straight-up rendition. To do this requires enormous knowledge and courage. If what you try on the fly doesn't cut it, you have to be skilled enough to craft an instant solution. Sarah Vaughan was famous for hop-scotching out of painted corners.
On this CD, Pettis, who spent nearly 20 years as an orthodontist, takes on standards, including The Very Thought of You, Night and Day, I Thought About You and Who Can I Turn to. In each case Pettis brings a warmth to the familiar, stroking songs in a way that makes them sound like fresh arrivals. Hats off to arrangers Randy Halbertadt, Darin Clendenin and Clipper Anderson.