218

Denise Donatelli: What Lies Within

Marcia Hillman By
Published:
Views: 3,793
Denise Donatelli: What Lies Within
Every now and then—in the sea of good but interchangeable, up-and-coming female vocalists—arrives a distinctive voice. Denise Donatelli is such a voice. Backed by Geoffrey Keezer (piano/arranger), Carl Saunders (trumpet), Bob Sheppard (reeds), Peter Sprague (guitar), Hamilton Price (bass), Marvin "Smitty" Smith (drums), Carlos Del Rosario (organ), Giovanna Clayton (cello) and Alex Acuna (percussion), the LA-based singer sails through an interesting and unhackneyed selection of material.

As the liner notes indicate, Donatelli chooses to "be another instrument." This approach is reminiscent of Stan Kenton's work with vocalist June Christy. However, Donatelli sounds like no other instrument. She possesses a silky smooth quality that enables her to sing anything, is lyric-driven and gifted with perfect pitch and wonderful timing.

The CD is well-crafted and paced to maintain attention. The selections demonstrate how well Donatelli can handle any kind of material—possibly even singing the telephone book. The underdone standard ballad "My Shining Hour," here in swinging up-tempo fashion with scatting in the final bars, is an attention-grabbing starter. The cute little item "I Love It When You Dance That Way," shows off Donatelli's sense of humor and features some voice and bass collaboration. Her sensitive rendition of "We'll Be Together Again" in a trio setting, featuring some fine work by Price, can take the breath away. But Donatelli can bop with the best of them as on Clifford Brown's "Daahoud" (done here as "Beloved," with a lyric by Meredith D'Ambrosio). Notable also is her turn on a funky blues called "Be Cool," on which Saunders' muted trumpet shines.

Keezer's fine piano contributions and arranging are heard throughout the CD, but it is Donatelli's voice that stands out, having an enveloping power. Perhaps a CD done in a trio setting might be a thought for a future offering. At any rate, there will be more to be heard from Donatelli—a welcome and needed arrival.


Track Listing: My Shining Hour; Sails; Crystal Silence; I Love It When You Dance That Way; We'll Be Together Again; Like An Old Song; Beloved (Daahoud); Four Walls; Be Cool; Make This City Ours Tonight; This Lament.

Personnel: Geoffrey Keezer: piano, arranger; Carl Saunders: trumpet; Bob Sheppard: reeds; Peter Sprague: guitar; Hamilton Price: bass; Marvin "Smitty" Smith: drums; Carlos Del Rosario: organ; Giovanna Clayton: cello; Alex Acuna: percussion.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Savant Records | Style: Vocal


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Find a Heart
Find a Heart
Savant Records
2015
buy
Soul Shadows
Soul Shadows
Savant Records
2012
buy
When Lights are Low
When Lights are Low
Savant Records
2010
buy
What Lies Within
What Lies Within
Savant Records
2009
buy
What Lies Within
What Lies Within
Savant Records
2008
buy
In The Company of Friends
In The Company of...
Jazzed Media
2005
buy
George Kahn George Kahn
piano
Sarah Vaughan Sarah Vaughan
vocalist
Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald
vocalist
Dianne Reeves Dianne Reeves
vocalist
Kurt Elling Kurt Elling
vocalist
Sony Holland Sony Holland
vocalist
Carmen McRae Carmen McRae
vocalist
Sacha Boutros Sacha Boutros
vocalist
Etta Jones Etta Jones
vocalist

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google banner ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Fund All About Jazz's Future