7

Denise Mangiardi: Brown Book

Jerome Wilson By

Sign in to view read count
Denise Mangiardi: Brown Book
Denise Mangiardi dwells in two musical worlds, as both a jazz singer and an accomplished classical composer. She puts all her talents to good use on this CD, singing a collection of self-written ballads, folk songs and torch songs, over her own haunting arrangements.

Mangiardi's moving string-writing appears on the two brief "Soundscape" instrumentals which bookend the album, as well as on the songs "The Exchange," "Waves," and "My Beauty"—which is really Thelonious Monk's "Ugly Beauty" with lyrics added by the singer. The lush arrangements, played by the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra, give dramatic support to Mangiardi's high, evocative voice, while Mark Soskin's piano and Tony DaGradi's soprano sax further embellish the tunes. "Brown Book" has a similar feel, but with only Soskin and Dagardi present, not the strings. This song carries a yearning big-city mood reminiscent of Laura Nyro's early music.

The leader excels at more informal sounds as well; she sings convincing sultry blues on "Day Time Kind Of Girl," with the help of Dave O'Higgins' heavy tenor sax and Brian Seeger's soulful blues guitar. "Horn Song" is a lively samba, where she happily sings over three chugging tenor players, Dagradi, O'Higgins and Jerry Bergonzi. She even includes a pretty Mexican-flavored folk song, "Red Bouquet," cooing gently over Seeger's twangy guitar and Jay Anderson's solid bass line.

Mangiardi's voice has an angelic quality which conveys honest emotion, no matter the musical setting. The gliding, hushed delicacy she displays on "My Beauty," with its hints of Billie Holiday, is breathtaking. She can sing exquisitely as well as create gorgeous musical settings which show her voice to full advantage. This is a remarkably lovely and affecting album.

Track Listing

Soundscape 1; The Exchange; Brown Book; Day Time Kind Of Girl; Horn Song; My Beauty; Castle In The Sky; Red Bouquet; Waves; Soundscape 2.

Personnel

Denise Mangiardi: voice / vocals; Mark Soskin: piano; Jay Anderson: bass; Jeff Boudreaux: drums; Brian Seeger: guitar; Tony DaGradi: saxophone; Dave O'Higgins: saxophone, tenor; Jerry Bergonzi: saxophone, tenor; Maurizio Ravalico: percussion.

Slovak National Symphony Orchestra: strings (1,2,6,9,10).

Album information

Title: Brown Book | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Alice's Loft

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Rhythm City
Rhythm City
Ptah Williams, Larry Kornfeld, Rob Silverman
Read Stringers & Struts
Stringers & Struts
Rempis/Parker/Flaten/Cunningham
Read Live In Maui
Live In Maui
Jimi Hendrix Experience

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.