by Rudy Palma
Linda Purl, Taking A Chance on Love (Reaching Records, 2020)
Many may recognize Purl from her many roles as an actress in TV and film. Her credits are vast and varied. Whether its Fonzie’s fiancée on Happy Days, Matlock’s daughter Charlene Matlock, Pam’s Mom/Steve Carell’s girlfriend on The Office, Purl has starred in 45 made-for-TV movies and counting, including the hilariously quirky Claire-ity on Amazon. Unbeknownst to me, this is Purl’s fifth album as a leader. What a breath of fresh air Taking A Chance of Love is. Purl is joined on the album by David Finck: bass, Tedd Firth: piano, Ray Marchica: drums, and Nelson Rangell: reeds. Those eminent jazz names alone should send a quiver up the jazzbo pole. Purl is sumptuously focused on her tonality and not limited in her delivery. Each note is filled with hope and candor. That same girl next door quality is in each cut. “Pure Imagination” has luxating instrumentation, replete with Finck’s exquisite bowing. “Wave” is a highlight of the album; the airy bossa transports the listener to Brazil’s beaches. Purl’s voice floats atop the melody with an arousing sensuality. Of particular note is the flute work of Rangell on this tune, his trills and fills are delicate and propel the beauty of the melody. Purl certainly proves her talents are vast, and Taking A Chance on Love cements her weave in the fabric of jazz. Brava!