Deanna Witkowski: From This Place (2009)

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Deanna Witkowski: From This Place
Deanna Witkowski takes the spiritual road on From This Place through gospel, Catholic liturgy, blues and jazz, and 19th century text to which she has written music.

Sacred music and jazz have come together through Mary Lou Williams

Mary Lou Williams
Mary Lou Williams
1910 - 1981
piano
and Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
1899 - 1974
piano
, to name two, while John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
brought in his own ardent beliefs to several of his compositions. Witkowski's sacerdotal calling is strongly manifested, particularly in the sincerity of her singing.

"Let My Prayer Rise (Psalm 141)" is a gospel tune with Donny McCaslin

Donny McCaslin
Donny McCaslin
b.1966
saxophone
laying the groove on the tenor saxophone. His warmth embraces the innate fervor with Witkowski adding to the impact with her pure, soaring voice. McCaslin is comfortable in several situations and this is one more for him; he makes it a memorable experience.

Laila Biali and Kate McGarry

Kate McGarry
Kate McGarry

vocalist
join Witkowski on the a capella "Never Before," the purity of their harmonies circling and descending in a cloak of velvet. The words, written by Witkowski, are a testament to her faith and sound unabashedly naked in their sensibility; they harken back to the time when the human soul sought the spirit of the Lord and found communion with it. The mood is relaxed when Peter Eldridge turns up for a quartet to take on the joyous "Keep in Mind" accompanied by the piano and a melodic turn of phrase on the electric bass by John Patitucci. The juxtaposition of the two works well with the intensity of the first being calmed by the relaxing timbre of the second.

The modern does not escape her and Witkowski gives "Take My Life and Let it Be" and "Song of Simeon" straightforward contemporary turns. They are intensely personal evocations, but "Take My Life and Let It Be" may be in better form because of the harmonies.

Witkowski comes up solidly on the side of faith and those who lean towards religious music will be rewarded.

Track Listing: Let My Prayer Rise (Psalm 141); I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say; From This Place; Evening Mass: Kyrie; Evening Mass: Gloria; Evening Mass: Sanctus; Evening Mass: Agnus Dei; O, the Deep, Deep Love; Christ the Light; Never Before; Make Your Wonders Known; Pass Me Not; Keep In Mind; Take My Life and Let It Be; Song of Simeon.

Personnel: Deanna Witkowski: piano, vocals; Donny McCaslin: soprano and tenor saxophones; John Patitucci: acoustic and electric basses; Scott Latzky: drums; Laila Biali: vocals (5, 7, 10, 13); Peter Eldridge: vocals (5, 7, 13); Kate McGarry: vocals (5, 7, 10, 13).

Record Label: Tilapia Records

Style: Vocal


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