249

Deanna Witkowski: Having To Ask

By

Sign in to view read count
Deanna Witkowski: Having To Ask
Don't confuse Deanna Witkowski's youthful exuberance for lack of musical erudition. On her spirited debut album, Having to Ask , the twenty-something pianist/singer/composer exhibits a wide-ranging musical knowledge that belies her tender years.

Nearly everything Witkowski does has a strong Afro/Caribbean taste, reflecting her study with Cuban pianists like Chucho Valdes and time spent in Africa. She even turns a Charlie Parker blues ("Au Privave") into a salsa number. Her original compositions, like the opening "Happening at Once" and the title cut, are complex and colorful, with a catchy, contemporary feel.

Her hushed, Chet Baker-style vocals are featured on a handful of cuts, mostly in the form of wordless scatting along with the melody —a practice that could be annoying, but in Witkowski's quiet, unobtrusive delivery, is quite effective. She also turns in an impressive performance at the piano. A highlight is her stirring solo recital of the ballad, "Blame It On My Youth" (an appropriate choice for the young artist), rendered with subtlety, grace and consummate skill. Backed by a talented small ensemble (trio plus saxophone and Latin percussion), Witkowski makes a sparkling debut.

Personnel

Deanna Witkowski: piano.

Album information

Title: Having To Ask | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Jazzline

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Arcades
Anthony Coleman and Brian Chase
arc
Bloodmist
Just Coolin'
Cory Weeds Quartet
Honoring Pat Martino, Volume 1
Alternative Guitar Summit

Popular

Get more of a good thing

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