335

Denise Donatelli: In The Company of Friends

Craig Jolley By

Sign in to view read count
Denise Donatelli: In The Company of Friends Everything about In The Company of Friends is first class. For one thing, there is a sense of balance: between comfortable material and challenging reinvention, between brilliantly conceived arrangements (never cluttered) and sparse backgrounds, between ensemble playing and soloing, between singer and accompanist. Each tune is a fresh scenario with its own message, especially in the rhythm department. I've been playing the CD over and over since I got it, and I'm still not tired of it.

Denise Donatelli moved to Los Angeles recently from Atlanta. This is her first CD, and it came out of a working relationship with Tom Garvin. Her natural sound is out of the classic tradition of interpreting lyrics, but she sings about life in the new millennium. I cringed when I noticed yet another "Send in the Clowns, but it turned out to be my favorite cut. Instead of treating it as a dramatic showstopper, Donatelli and Garvin give it a subversive feel, possibly not far from Sondheim's original intent, with Donatelli floating wonderfully over the insistent rhythm and bending notes for meaning.

There is also humor (the broader variety) in "A Roarin' Borin' Alice, a Dave Frishberg-like original by Garvin and Pat Cooper. "If You Could See Me Now, a contrast to the ironic feel of some songs, features intimate storyteller Donatelli in a three-way dialog with Garvin and Brian Scanlon. A completely overhauled "Green Dolphin Street over a simmering modern tango rhythm is maybe the most interesting piece musically, with a new harmonic scheme and frequent key changes. An up-tempo "Dream Dancing also has a Latin backdrop, more evolved than the usual Cole Porter bolero, and there's a hint of "Pent-up House. Donatelli's marvelous sense of swing is front and center on "This is New, a cut that also features burning solos by Clay Jenkins and Bob Sheppard. She creatively recomposes the melody on a blues-tinged "Sleepin' Bee, generating some tension and urgency in the process.

The band, premier musicians all, plays with particular conviction and crispness. There are no throwaway solos.

The CD release party is set for July 13 at Catalina's with the entire band.

Visit Denise Donatelli on the web.

Track Listing: On Green Dolphin Street, The Thrill Is Gone, Round Midnight, You Don't Know What Love Is, A Sleepin' Bee, Send In The Clowns, This Is New, If You Could See Me Now, Dream Dancing, A Roarin' Borin' Alice, When Summer Turns to Snow

Personnel: Denise Donatelli - vocals, Tom Garvin - piano/arranger, Clay Jenkins - trumpet, Bob Sheppard - reeds, Andy Martin - trombone, Tom Peterson -tenor, Brian Scanlon -alto flute, Peter Woodford - guitar, Tom Warrington - bass, Steve Houghton - drums, Brian Kilgore -percussion.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Jazzed Media | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Circles CD/LP/Track Review Circles
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Windmills CD/LP/Track Review Windmills
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Ugly Beautiful CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Trickster CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Caipi CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 24, 2017
Read United CD/LP/Track Review United
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "The Final Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Starer" CD/LP/Track Review Starer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "Boston, 1954" CD/LP/Track Review Boston, 1954
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics" CD/LP/Track Review Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics
by Paul Naser
Published: May 2, 2016
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Beguiled" CD/LP/Track Review Beguiled
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!