Here's To Ben: A Vocal Tribute To Ben Webster (2016)


There are few voices so perfect that they seem suited to any type of music. Jacintha has such a voice.

The Singapore-based vocalist is already known in her homeland as an actress and popular recording artist. Now she broadens that reputation with this recording Here’s To Ben.  On this album, she’s joined by a quartet of top-ranked jazz musicians for a look at songs associated with the late saxophonist Ben Webster.

It’s quite a change for an artist whose last recording covered tunes from Sting, Lennon & McCartney, Stevie Wonder, and others. But, in truth, it’s a return to the music she grew up loving.

The 1st artist to be released Groove Note Records has already become a legend in her own time! Already a tremendous figure in her native Singapore, Jacintha has been turning heads and ears in this country as well. With an outstanding singing style on par with the greats, Jacintha will enrapture you in a perpetual state of musical bliss! (We're not ones for overstatement either.)

Jacintha debuts in the U.S. with a tribute to the legendary tenor saxophone player: Ben Webster. The songs have been specially selected to reflect this premise, i.e. they are mostly great vocal standards and/or ballads that have been recorded by Webster many times and are thus associated with his particular style and name. Some of these songs like Stardust, How Long Has This Been Going On, Georgia and Our Love is Here to Stay, Over The Rainbow are Webster classics.

The recording was made on an ATR-100 tape machine with BASF-900 1/4" high-resolution tape running at 30ips. Only vintage microphones were used including the Neumann M-49 tube microphone set-up for Jacintha?s voice. The other microphones used (for the musicians) included Neumann M-50 and U-47. The recording and mastering cabling for this session was supplied by Audioquest (Lapis).

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Jacintha is a popular vocalist, actress and journalist known for her performances and writing in both the United States and Singapore. She was born in 1957 to musician parents, the Sri Lankan classical guitarist Alex Abisheganaden, a recipient of the Cultural Medallion, and a Chinese mother who sang and played the piano. She studied piano and voice from her early teens and also sang in the Singapore Youth Choir, where she met her future collaborator Dick Lee.

Growing up, Jacintha listened to a wide variety of music – not only vocal jazz and traditional pop, but also artists who ranged from Stevie Wonder to Joni Mitchell to South African singer Miriam Makeba. Jacintha was a big fan of Brazilian bandleader Sergio Mendes during her upbringing. Jacintha was educated at Marymount Convent School, Raffles Institution and the National University of Singapore, where she graduated with an honors degree in English. She then went to America where she studied creative writing at Harvard University. Jacintha first came to prominence in 1976 when she won a local television talent contest, Talentime, singing jazz. She continued this winning streak in 1981, when she nabbed the Best Female Performer award for her role as Nurse Angamuthu in General Hospital at the Drama Festival.

In 1983, Jacintha released her debut album Silence. The new wave album, containing a cover of the Bee Gees' "Run to Me", was reviewed positively, with The Straits Times calling it "probably the most impressive debut album...from a local singer." In the mid-1990s, actor Lim Kay Tong introduced Jacintha to Ying Tan, who signed her to his Groove Note label. Her first jazz album was released in 1998: Here's To Ben – A Vocal Tribute To Ben Webster. Jacintha's second album for the Groove Note label, Autumn Leaves: The Songs of Johnny Mercer (1999) has seen the title track being used for TV series Alias, while the bonus track "Here's to Life" was used as the title track for the Hollywood movie Play It to the Bone.

In 2004, Jacintha performed her own cabaret jazz show, The Angina Monologues at the Old Parliament House, Singapore. In 2006, she served as a judge on the second season of Singapore Idol. In 2012, she returned to the stage after 13 years, playing herself in Ong Keng Sen's National Broadway Company, a musical commissioned for the Esplanade – Theatre on the Bay's 10th anniversary.

photo: from booklet 'The Girl from Bossa Nova'

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Here's To Ben: A Vocal Tribute To Ben Webster (2016)


    NativeDSD Listener

I’ve had all of the Jacintha NativeDSD downloads long enough that I declare a winner. First off, every single one of these releases is beyond superb but I give the (slim) nod to Here's to Ben: A Vocal Tribute to Ben Webster. You have no idea what your missing or what I might be saying until you download these DSDs. You can thank me later.

Bob Alexander

This showcases Jacintha's beautiful voice really well. It's really uplifting to listen to. Simply superb.

Mandarin TJE[read full review]

Here's To Ben: A Vocal Tribute To Ben Webster (2016)


Analog Recording Equipment: ATR-100 tape machine with BASF-900 1/4" high resolution tape running at 30ips
Cables: Audioquest (Lapis)
Mastering Engineer: Bernie Grundman
Microphones: Only vintage microphones were used including the Neumann M-49 tube microphone set-up for Jacintha?s voice. The other microphones used (for the musicians) included Neumann M-50 and U-47.
Producer: Joe Harley, Ying Tan
Recording Engineer: Michael C. Ross, John Sorenson
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog

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GRV1001: Here's To Ben: A Vocal Tribute To Ben Webster
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Georgia On My Mind
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Our Love Is Here To Stay
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Somewhere Over The Rainbow
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How Long Has This Been Going On
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In The Wee Small Hours Of Morning
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Pennies From Heaven
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Danny Boy
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10 The Look Of Love
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