Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
175

Nancy Donnelly: A Greater Love

By

Sign in to view read count
Nancy Donnelly: A Greater Love For her recording debut, vocalist Nancy Donnelly comes prepared with the exceptional trio of pianist Peggy Stern, bassist Jay Anderson, and drummer Matt Wilson. Altoist Jack Ryan appears on only one track, contributing a tart solo on Donnelly's original "Why Can't It Be?" The leader delivers these tunes in a bright manner that is reminiscent of the quintessential 1950s femme vocalists. She does well with both ballads and up-tempo tunes.

Originally from Kingston, New York, Nancy Donnelly has her parents to thank for an exposure to a wide variety of music. She studied classical voice at an early age and graduated from the Crane School of Music. She then moved to Boston to attend the Boston Conservatory of Music and studied jazz theory and improvisation with Jerry Bergonzi. After moving to New York, she has worked with Joe Locke, Roswell Rudd, Bob Moses and Peggy Stern.

The opener, Bernice Petkere's "Close Your Eyes," is taken at a faster tempo than usual. On Thad Jones' jazz standard "A Child is Born," she lends improvisation to the second chorus. The Kern/Mercer standard "Dearly Beloved" is played way up-tempo with a Latin tinge. The Russell/Sigmund "Crazy He Calls Me" is given a nice and smoky cabaret ballad treatment.

Jay Anderson starts off the Schwartz/Dietz tune "Alone Together" with a brief bass statement, and then Donnelly takes it out for a ride with a pleasant scat solo. She saves the best for last. The Rainger/Leo standard "If I Should Lose You" was made for a jazz vocalist, and Nancy Donnelly proves up to the task. Taking the piece at a mid-tempo pace, Donnelly uses the same technique as with "A Child is Born," applying jazz phrasing on the second and third chorus to the timeless melody; she also provides a scat solo set against Peggy Stern's piano.

Donnelly wisely varies the pacing of the album so that no two successive songs are at the same tempo, with one exception. Three songs, all originals, flow well together at the same mid-tempo pace: Donnelly's "No Greater Love, Kurt Nurock/C.J.Ellis' "Lost Is Loving You" and Peggy Stern's "New Rain." The technique works because it makes the listener pay more attention to these tunes than if they were presented separately.


Track Listing: Close Your Eyes, A Child is Born, Why Can't It Be?, Dearly Beloved, Crazy He Calls Me, No Greater Love, Lost In Loving You, New Rain, Alone Together, If I Should Lose You.

Personnel: Nancy Donnelly: vocals; Peggy Stern: piano; Jay Anderson: bass; Matt Wilson: drums and percussion; Jack Ryan: alto saxophone (3).

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Vocal


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
A Greater Love
A Greater Love
Self Produced
2006
buy
Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald
vocalist
Dianne Reeves Dianne Reeves
vocalist
Diana Krall Diana Krall
piano
Kurt Elling Kurt Elling
vocalist
Cal Tjader Cal Tjader
vibraphone
Anita O'Day Anita O'Day
vocalist
Betty Carter Betty Carter
vocalist
Joni Mitchell Joni Mitchell
vocalist
Roseanna Vitro Roseanna Vitro
vocalist
Rebecca Parris Rebecca Parris
various
Joy Bellis Joy Bellis
vocalist
E. J. Decker E. J. Decker
vocalist

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.