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Dolores Scozzesi: A Special Taste

Edward Blanco By

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Whenever the names of legendary vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Edith Piaf are used to describe a new singer, it's clear that there's something special about that artist.

Dolores Scozzesi is one such artist, and her unique Mezzosoprano voice separates her from the plethora of female jazz vocalist dotting the landscape these days. After a brief hiatus to raise a family, and years of performing in clubs from Los Angeles to Paris, Scozzesi—who revived her passion for singing by developing cabaret acts—delivers her very first album with A Special Taste. Produced by jazz vocalist Mark Winkler, the varied ten-piece repertoire of songs includes composers from Cy Coleman and Bob Dylan, to Jon Lucien, as well as stunning arrangements from pianists Gary Fukushima and Eli Brueggemann, both of whom provide piano and Hammond B3 work on the recording.

Making this Rhombus Records debut even more enticing, Scozzesi has assembled a very creative and seasoned cast of players. Guitarist luminary Grant Geissman, appears on the cover "When Did You Leave Heaven" and oft-recorded jazz standard, "Autumn Leaves/Les Feuilles Mortes." With a terrific arrangement of Coleman's "You Fascinate Me," the singer pulls no punches, belting out a slightly Latin-shaded rendition of the classic, with saxophone great Bob Sheppard performing on flute. Scozzesi demonstrates her vocal range on Dylan's "One More Cup of Coffee," with a little help from Brueggemann, and inspired violinist Charlie Bisharat.

Scozzesi provides a humbling version of another Dylan song, "Just Like A Woman," beautifully adapted and accompanied here by an unfortunately unlisted trumpeter. The player omission is once again repeated on Lucien's "Listen Love," where the lyrics are sung with heartfelt emotion, supported by Geissman's beautiful guitar work.

Phillip Swann's "Jazz is a Special Taste"—from which the album title is taken—is one of the disc's highlights, both from the singer's performance and the music. There's a good deal of swing coming from "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter"; bouncy from beginning to end, the singer enjoys a New Orleans-style solo from cornetist Nolan Shaheed. Singing some of lyrics in French, Scozzesi breezes through "Autumn Leaves," putting a pleasurable punctuation mark on the music.

With a sharp, powerful vocal approach providing the gourmet ingredients to this special dish, Dolores Scozzesi serves up an appetizing musical treat with A Special Taste, one of the more unique vocal debuts to surface this year.

Track Listing: You Fascinate Me So; One More Cup of Coffee; Just Like A Woman; My One and Only Love; When Did You Leave Heaven; Listen Love; Jazz Is A Spaecial Taste; I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter; Stay Out of The Moonlight; Autumn Leaves/ Les Feuilles Mortes.

Personnel: Dolores Scozzesi: vocals; Grant: Geissman: guitar.

Title: A Special Taste | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Rhombus Records

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