New York-based vocalist Jim Malloy is one of these musicians. A cameraman for NBC television in New York by day, Malloy has been singing around the wedding/corporate function scene in Gotham for the past seven years. His self-released album, "Jazz Vocalist", is a serviceable collection of standards, delivered without any musical risks. As a vocalist, Malloy's phrasing and delivery brings to mind at times Billy Eckstine, Joe Williams, Louis Jordan and John Hendricks. He's very good behind a microphone. But he doesn't combine these influences into his own style. On "New York Nighttime Blues", he mimics Eckstine. "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" finds Malloy imitating Williams. He apes Jordan and Arthur Prysock on "I'm Gonna Lay My Heart On The Line". There's something missing. That intangible to tie it all together to and allow Malloy to make the songs his own.
What stuck with me was the obvious enthusiasm that Malloy sings with. In the album's liner notes, he said that he can "hardly express the personal joy that (he's) found by following (his) muse". In most cases, just singing should be enough. I hope that Malloy can grow as a singer as he pursues that muse. He has the basic tools to forge a solid career. Now he just needs to put that together.