Firefox just crashed--blame the two dozen open tabs on my memory-famished laptop--and thanks to the command "Restore Session", every online excerpt from Here in the Moment (Origin), the new disc by singer Gail Pettis, begins streaming simultaneously. I'm agog. Instead of a tangled cacophony of spazzed-out drums and glossolalic singing, Pettis's sure, compact voice darts between an odd snare hit or cymbal that has been simmering a mite too long. Heard separately as intended, "Day In, Day Out" capers with grace, and to my surprise, she makes a case that the overrated staple "Nature Boy" can be more than a sophomoric parable. I'm always a sucker for "In the Still of the Night", but Pettis transforms what is often a lumbering hymn of lust into a frisky flirtation.
When I saw Pettis sing live last November, I was struck by her ease and charm, even in uptempo tunes. She was an adroit singer when I heard her several years ago, but now her voice has a smoother, pearl-like quality.