For example, "I Like the Sunrise," the first movement of The Liberian Suite initially performed movingly and unforgettably by Al Hibbler, is one of Duke Ellington’s less frequently recorded compositions. However, it’s consistent with Sandhaus’s intentions of seeking out often-forgotten songs of uplifting content: "I like the sunrise/’Cause it brings a new day./I like a new day./It brings new hope, they say./I like the sunrise/Blazing in the new start./Night time is weary/But so am I./Every evening I wish upon a star/That my brand new bright tomorrow isn’t very far."
Even "Whatever Lola Wants," an alluring tango of over-the-top sultriness and irresistible demands from Damn Yankees, comes across as if it’s all in fun due to Sandhaus’s light-hearted, tentative treatment. "Take off your coat./Don't you know you can't win?/You're no exception to the rule./I'm irresistible, you fool./Give in! Give in! Give in!" can be taken two ways. And Sandhaus chooses to take it wryly, singing the lyrics with a straight face even as she understates them.
Likewise, Matt Dennis’ song of relatively uncomplicated sentiment and structure, "Relax," allows Sandhaus to breeze through the first chorus without breaking a sweat as she fills "every moment with happiness" and "wears a smile and finds that life’s worthwhile." But it becomes evident that the reason for its inclusion on A Fine Spring Morning, besides its Pollyannaish content, is the opportunity to allow her fine rhythm section to solo, her husband Pete Malinverni lightly framing the melody with block chords and bassist Todd Coolman shaping his own melodies from the mood of Sandhaus’s delivery. And appropriately enough, Sandhaus "Can’t Help Singing." That’s because she "sings because I’m happy," as she states in the waltz’s verse.
In possession of an enchanting voice with exacting articulation and swelling dynamics, Jody Sandhaus, without artifice or excessive elaboration, affects her listeners, not with the words of the lyrics or the notes of the melodies, but with the direct emotional appeal of a singer who has found fulfillment and who wishes to share it.