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Danielle Freeman: Dorian

Mark F. Turner By

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Track review of "CuCuRuCuCu Paloma"

With the poise of an opera diva and an ability to scat like Ella Fitzgerald, New York-based singer Danielle Freeman possesses a voice that commands attention with beauty and control on her debut, Dorian. Primarily a duet recording by Freeman and acoustic bassist Matt Wigton, the recording is an austere yet scintillating showcase of voice and instrument, crossing the borders of classical music, jazz improvisation, and modern composition.

One of its more intriguing tracks, "CuCuRuCuCu Paloma," draws inspiration from unusual source material to leave a lasting impression. Written by composer/singer Tomás Méndez, the beloved Mexican folk song was first released in 1954, and has been featured in film and sung by artists including Luis Miguel, Perry Como, Harry Belafonte, and Linda Ronstadt. Yet Freeman's arrangement, with the aid of Wigton and guitarist Gilad Hekselman, is simply haunting: the bass line's metronomic heartbeat; the electric guitar's dream inducing chords; and Freeman's mesmerizing skills (lyrics sung in Spanish and her soaring voice) evoke the essence of a tale of heartbreak, longing and freedom, as the loosely translated song's prose articulate:

"Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay," he sang

"Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay," he yearned

"Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay," he sang

He was crying of deep passion

A sad dove would sing early in the morning

In front of the lonely house

They swear that the dove

Was nothing more than his soul

Waiting for her to come back.



A wonderful performance, Freeman delivers a unique rendition that is as timeless and universal as its theme.

Personnel: Danielle Freeman: vocals; Matt Wigton: acoustic bass; Gilad Hekselman: guitar.

Title: Dorian | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Ganache Productions


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