Ms Hoffman is an accomplished performer equally at home in the classical, Latin, jazz and popular music fields. Born in Malmo, Sweden in 1982 she has Hungarian roots with an ability to sing in both languages in addition to faultless English, as she demonstrates here. Her crystal-clear diction with its delicate vibrato has an innocent Doris Day-like quality.
The album title refers to the 10 singers who are important to her: Rosemary Clooney, Marie Frediksson, Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey, Cesaria Evora, Cher, Etta James, Barbra Streisand, Doris Day and Judy Garland.
Monica performs numbers associated with each of her influences although she demonstrates her own songwriting ability with the opening First Time, a song which deserves to become a standard. The lovely Sway which benefits from a sensitive statement from trumpeter Peer Baierlein is a perfect vehicle for her.
She thrives in the hard-swinging accompaniment provided by the JazzFactory orchestra on Bésame Mucho which has some amazing trombone from Marc Godfroid. The drama associated with Bang, Bang – a number Sonny Bono wrote for Cher – is increased here by a repeated bass ostinato from Jens Loh.
She gives a soulful spin to Lover Man which works really well with more fine trumpet from Baierlein. What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life is one of Michel Legrand’s loveliest melodies with a superb lyric from Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Her intimate, almost fragile delivery here is one of many highlights.
Hear/buy Monika Hoffman: Ten Muses at mochermusic.com
First Time; Sway; Fading Like A Flower; Cheek To Cheek; Where Do I Begin; Bésame Mucho; Bang Bang My Baby Shot Me Down; Lover Man; What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life; Lullaby Of Broadway; Over The Rainbow (53.34)
Hoffman (v) with:
Peer Baierlein (t, flh); Marc Godfroid (tb); Arno Haas (as, ts, bar); Klas Graf (as); Alex Buhl (ts); Patrick Tompert (p); Christoph Neuhaus (elg); Jens Loh, Benni Jud, Axel Kuhn (b); Fulgencio Medina Jr., Alvin Mills (d). Stuttgart, Germany, July, August, September, October 2018.