Sarah DeLeo: The Nearness of You (2005)
Sarah DeLeo's fresh voice interprets this program of standards with a knowing heart. It has an innocence that rings positive. She gives you the feeling that we're at liberty to lighten up, relax a while, and let the music take care of our worries.
Resonating with a youthful timbre, DeLeo's voice appears frail and distant on this debut recording. She's backed by a superb complement of accompanists, particularly guitarist Chris Bergson and pianist Brian Charette, whose partnership lends a dynamic force.
DeLeo is at her best with blues-inflected numbers such as "The Right Time" and "Angel Eyes," which allow her to dredge up sincere feelings that reflect appropriately with passion and understanding.
The lyrics of "Too Young for the Blues" contain a message pertinent to this performance. DeLeo's interpretation appears light and sassy; however, she's missed the depth of feeling that she applied to the two songs mentioned above. Here, and elsewhere, she sings the melody lightly from a distance. Like a soothing lullaby intended to drift away on a current of cool air, her melodies float with a lightness of spirit that yearns for stronger emotion.
Track Listing: If I Had You; It's a Good Day; The Nearness of You; The Right Time; The Glory of Love; Blackbirds; Too Young for the Blues; Angel Eyes; It's Easy to Remember; So in Love.
Personnel: Sarah DeLeo: vocal; Chris Bergson: guitar; Brian Charette: piano; David Cook: Rhodes electric piano; Chuck Mackinnon: trumpet; Mark Verdino: bass; Diego Boglino: drums.