Dena DeRose: A Walk in the Park (2005)
Dena DeRose sings with emotion and musical accuracy. Her trio's sense of swing makes A Walk in the Park sparkle with hip inclinations that revel in their rhythmic delivery. While the album is moody for the most part, there's a deep feeling attached to this session. DeRose sings from the heart.
Breathy and hesitant, her vocal delivery takes hold of a slower ballad and allows it to linger. In several places this quality becomes tiresome. The singer/pianist is much better when she's animated, which fortunately is true of most of the session.
Wordless vocal interludes in unison with her up-tempo piano forays recall the magic formula that Tania Maria has developed into a science. With these exciting passages, DeRose moves animatedly to the beat of her trio's heart while appearing spontaneous.
"Imagine" provides a loping scene where the singer has an opportunity to build her interpretation from cool and distant to something more passionate. She prefers, however, to leave it that way. Cole Porter would call it blasé. She adds Moog synthesizer on the trio's portrayal of "I Concentrate on You," which starts out split between the left and right channels. As the sounds come together, her Moog effects color the scene with a light contemporary air. The result is unique, but remains cool and distant.
Her composition "A Walk in the Park" provides a lovely musical stroll that emphasizes the trio's swinging appearance. Serving as the album's high point, this instrumental number bounces gracefully with fresh keyboard attacks that drive spontaneously. DeRose and her two musical partners give her audience an effective dose of straight-ahead jazz talk, done up with respect for tradition.
Track Listing: Meditation; All My Love; How Deep is the Ocean; Home (with You); All the Way; The Lonely Ones; In the Glow of the Moon; Imagine; A Walk in the Park (with James); I Could've Told You; I Concentrate on You.
Personnel: Dena DeRose- vocals, piano; Martin Wind- bass; Matt Wilson- drums.