Jan Cronin, I Thought About You Review
Jan Cronin’s ‘I Thought About You’: A Heartfelt Ode to the Great American Songbook
By Sylvannia Garutch
Immersing oneself in Jan Cronin’s album, I Thought About You, is analogous to discovering a long-forgotten treasure chest filled with the enduring jewels of the Great American Songbook. The album reveals a rich sonic tapestry, an intimate, layered portrait of the music through the lens of a skilled songstress. In Cronin’s interpretations, each song is a window into her journey, influences, and deep affection for jazz and blues. From her early church-singing days to her eventful pop/rock and blues career, her heartfelt connection to music is a constant that has navigated her through life’s ebbs and flows. I Thought About You encapsulates her enduring love for jazz, her intuitive understanding of the music’s intrinsic universality, and the importance of narrating the story of each melody’s personality, bringing out its profound universal appeal. Joining Cronin are Andy Reiss (guitar) and Jim Ferguson (bass).
Cronin’s rendition of “Wonderful” shows her emotional expressiveness, interpretation, and connection to the song. Cronin’s voice breathes a fresh perspective into the Gershwin classic, infusing it with a warmth and authenticity that reveal her profound emotional connection to the melody. In addition, she injects a sense of personal narrative into the timeless tune, spinning a romantic tale that feels both deeply personal and universally relatable. The playful yet sincere manner in which she delivers lines such as “Wonderful! S’marvelous! That you should care for me” showcases her emotional resonance and her ability to reinterpret a beloved standard in a way that’s uniquely her own. This duality of preserving the song’s inherent joy and romanticism, coupled with her own emotive, personal interpretation, truly makes her rendition stand out.
Cronin’s rendition of “I Thought About You” distinctly illustrates her strengths in interpretation, musical knowledge, and collaboration skills through a standard. Her nuanced understanding of the song’s history and structure—evident in her respect for the song’s timeless melodic arc and the emotional depth of Mercer’s lyrics—Cronin brings a refreshing interpretation to the table. She takes an iconic standard and makes it feel personal, fresh, and engaging while remaining true to its origins. In addition, the evident chemistry between Cronin and her backing musicians speaks volumes about her ability to collaborate effectively. Their combined musicianship shapes the song into a cohesive unit that complements and enhances Cronin’s vocal delivery. This delicate symbiosis between her and Reiss and Ferguson only amplifies the potency of her respect for the tradition of a standard while also leaving a unique mark on it from her many musical experiences.
Cronin’s heartfelt homage to the Great American Songbook in I Thought About You is an intimate journey through her musical journey. The record’s pared-down arrangement gives way to the authenticity of Cronin’s performance, allowing her to take center stage. Cronin navigates a broad emotional spectrum of these standards, delivering performances that are personal and universally engaging. Her interpretations demonstrate an understanding of the genre’s history and an intimate connection to the material. The evident synergy between Cronin and her two accompanying musicians further enhances the album, highlighting her collaboration skills as a vocalist. I Thought About You is for those who appreciate the timeless charm of the standards and those who are eager to hear them through the unique lens of a seasoned and thoughtful artist.