Generally one can get a feel for how adaptable a jazz singer can be by just tracking where she or he has appeared. Deanna Storey migrated to NYC from Seattle (in recent years, it's usually been the opposite direction). In any event, she has appeared at such Big Apple cabaret rooms as Don't Tell Mama's, The Algonquin and Danny's Skylight Room, all tried and true cabaret venues. Lately she has been appearing at locations which tend to lean more toward jazz than the more stylized cabaret format. . This her latest album takes the second route, delivering on a set of classic jazz standards loaded with jazz statements. The passion and heat of torch had been "You Don't Know What Love Is". Strong and unequivocal statements have also been added by the modern sounding alto of Andrew Speight. His long solo on this cut is one of the album's high spots. Storey also uses her significant swinging and scat skills on "Sometimes I'm Happy". (The other version of this tune on the CD is given a Samba kick.) Being an equal opportunity employer, Storey gives plenty of room for the rhythm section to stretch out, especially the bass opening by Michael Zisman, and the piano of Matthew Clark throughout.
The level of enjoyment one experiences in hearing a CD, especially a vocal, is closely related to one's expectations . If you're looking for Fitzgerald or Abbey Lincoln every time out, then the return on the listening investment can be small. But if sights are lowered slightly, then there is a rich lode of music waiting out there to be appreciated. This is the case with Storey. No Billie Holiday, but very good in her own way. With an instinctive sense of phrasing, pitch and rhythm, whether it be an upbeat or ballad, she gives each tune its full due with a very rewarding result. Recommended.
Deanna can be visited at deannastorey.com
Personnel: Deanna Storey - Vocals; Matthew Clark - Piano; Michael Zisman - Bass;
Akira Tana - Drums; Andrew Speight - Alto Sax