Chris McNulty: Dance Delicioso (2005)
You often hear the words "sultry" and "sensuous" used to describe the voices of lady singers, but McNulty doesn't strike me that way. Hers is a richly feminine sound, with a dash of sauce on "All of You," a jaunty, melody-stretching romp that has an innovative feel to it.
McNulty sounds sadin a recovery mode from love lost, perhapson Bobby Troup's "Meaning of the Blues," a take on the tune that contains a bunch of exquisite moments, like Sonny Barbato's sweet accordion work, with a gorgeous little solo in front of the whisper of Paul Bollenback's accoustic guitar. On "Star Eyes," McNulty goes with a more horn-like delivery, reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald as she pushes melody around inside a bouncy arrangement.
The set, produced by McNulty and guitarist Paul Bollenback, has a high polish. Those exquisite moments I mentioned in "Meaning of the Blues" applies to every song here, with some surprises. The traditonal Irish tune "He Moved Through the Fair" is done with a dark yet airy style that features Erik Friedlander's deep-toned cello sound.
The McNulty-penned title tune tells a handful of life-affirming stories, with some lush background harmonies, and listen to her voice as it rises from womanly to girlish as she when she tells a young girl's tale.
A beautiful, original, polished effort.
Visit Chris McNulty on the web.
Track Listing: Primitive; New Day; He Moved Through the Fair; All of You; Meaning of the Blues; Dance Delicioso; Last Farewell; Roamin'; Star Eyes; Only the Silence; Last Farewell-Reprise.
Personnel: Chris McNulty: voice; Paul Bolenback: guitars; Gary Bartz: alto saxophone; Mulgrew Miller, John DiMartino: piano; Sonny Barbato: accordion; Erik Friedlander: cello; Ugommo Okegwo: bass; Billy hart-drums; Cafe da Silva: percussion; Joel Frahm: saxophones; Dave DiPietro: soprano saxophone; Gary Thomas: tenor saxophone.
Record Label: Elefant Dreams Records