This disc is a good representation of balance of jazz, blues, ballads and snappy standards. There’s no lack of interpretation here and it never gets stale.
The determined "I’m Gonna Make It This Time," builds from start to finish and represents Eames personal and professional journey. The vocals and the calm accompaniment are no-nonsense. Generally, you can divide the upbeat tracks, "Saturday Night Fish Fry," "Cheek To Cheek," "Sweet Georgia Brown," and "All of Me."
With these, Eames vocals dance and one can sense the true enjoyment of the artist to do what he does. The musicians share that infectious joy throughout their spirited exchange. If you’re ready for fun, you’ve got it here and there’s no need to intellectualize it.
With the ballads ("I’m Gonna Make it This Time," "Suffering With the Blues," "Time After Time," "Kansas City Blues," and "Suddenly,"), he emphasizes the blues. However, I don’t sense a downtrodden mood. Instead, it’s a great nod to a long tradition of a great music style. Eames isn’t hard and raspy, but light and classy. This is a refreshing difference, almost like Al Jarreau’s interpretations of similar music. Ironically, there’s more triumph in his choice of titles, though "blues" figures into it.
One of the most beautiful tracks, "Time After Time," reeks of romance and Eathan Mann’s really classy guitar work. Eames shines here, with more determination and style. He is cool, but stretches nicely here perhaps more than any other tune. That beauty also comes through in the title track, "Suddenly," written by Eames and Donald Basford.
He’s got great support from a fine group of musicians who are in step with Eames all the way. Fine performances and cooperation make this a truly rich and pleasant experience. With that, he’s made it .... this time.