Melbourne Australia born, currently living in Dubai, pianist, singer, songwriter, vocal coach Lisa Hugo has had a wealth of experience performing on television, in the theater and on film in her native country. Later work as a headliner on cruise ships as well as work playing five-star hotels in Europe and Istanbul Turkey helped her craft her own unique style. A more pop oriented style of vocalist than a jazz artist, she does, however, have an unmistakenly wonderful ability to write songs that speak to the heart and convey emotions in the tradition of the best singer/songwriters.
On It’s Time Hugo places her piano and voice into the context of a quartet. Expertly backed by a trio of jazz musicians working out of Belgium, the ensemble sweetly and easily works through the 11 songs, eight of which are originals. Janos Bruneel’s bass work is consistently solid, Pieter Vandergooten paces his drumset work with taste and a light sense of execution which makes you instantly realize he’s used to filling behind vocalists without being overbearing. Guitarist and Hammond organist Dirk van der Linden has his own way of voicing chords that provide Hugo with ample support yet still give her room to allow her perfectly phrased lyrics to have the freedom needed in conveying the spirit of the song.
While most of the tunes are mid-tempo and focused around love, as is typical for pop music, Hugo none the less is able to capture a more mature sense of love and convey it in a warm manner. Whether it’s "I’m Gonna Miss You" or "Please Try To Understand," Hugo makes personal statements everyone can relate to. On the few covers Hugo does she finds new material within them that allows her to recreate them for herself. She turns the Joe Cocker song "The Letter" into as heartfelt an expression of yearning as has ever been expressed and Eva Cassidy’s "Time Is A Healer" into a subtle stroke of passion. In a pop industry that is oriented towards youth it might be difficult for the still young Hugo to find airplay, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve it.