186

Donna Byrne: Licensed to Thrill

By

Sign in to view read count
Donna Byrne: Licensed to Thrill Any recording titled Licensed to Thrill sets up a certain expectation. Unfortunately, the latest CD from the Boston-based vocalist rarely lives up to its promise. Byrne delivers a solid, competent set of pop and jazz standards, but her thin, reedy voice isn't particularly distinctive or compelling, much less thrilling. What sparkles are the nuanced, textured arrangements by bassist and husband Marshall Wood and the masterful performances by her sidemen. Scott Hamilton's soaring tenor sax underlines the light-hearted rhythms of "Nobody Else But Me," while Wood's subtle bass lends a sexy playfulness to "Talk To Me Baby." Byrne displays confident phrasing on up-tempo numbers like "Old Devil Moon" and "Agua de Beber." She swings comfortably, but doesn't bring anything particularly interesting or innovative to her selections. An exception is the Fats Domino golden oldie "I'm Walkin," in which Bucky Pizzarelli's divine guitar propels the rhythm section with a joyous drive lacking on the rest of the album (this arrangement has a contribution by pianist Tim Ray). Byrne's at her best on ballads; her lack of vocal color hinders her the least when she can shine as an interpreter. She is dry and evocative on "The Underdog," a bittersweet song by Dave Frishberg, and appropriately moody for a melancholy jazz take on "I Don't Care Much," a John Kander/Fred Ebb song cut from, then reinstated into, the Broadway musical Cabaret. Her soft, understated version of the war-horse "My Old Flame" is meticulously rendered with nearly perfect diction. While Byrne has an attractive tone and is rhythmically adept, she is too often upstaged by her own arrangements to make a mark for herself with this disc.

Track Listing: 1. You and the Night and the Music (Dietz/Schwartz) - 4:34 2. Nobody Else But Me (Hammerstein/Kern) - 3:52 3. My Old Flame (Coslow/Johnston) - 4:52 4. Agua de Beber (DeMoraes/Jobim) - 4:53 5. Talk to Me Baby (Dolan/Mercer) - 6:20 6. Reaching for the Moon (Berling) - 5:29 7. Shadowland (D'ambrosio/McKenna) - 4:48 8. Old Devil Moon (Berlin) - 3:51 9. The Underdog (Frishberg) - 5:37 10. I'll Always Be in Love With You (Green/Ruby/Stept) - 4:30 11. I Don't Care Much (Ebb/Kander) - 3:51 12. I'm Walkin' (Bartholomew/Domino) - 4:58 13. Remember My Child/Grow Tall My Son (Engvick & Wilder/McGlohon) - 4:40

Personnel: Scott Hamilton -Sax (Tenor) Bucky Pizzarelli -Guitar Tim Ray -Piano, Arranger Marshall Wood -Bass, Arranger, Associate Producer Jim Gwin -Drums Donna Byrne -Vocals

Title: Licensed to Thrill | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: A-Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Reimagined" CD/LP/Track Review Reimagined
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 8, 2017
Read "Mannequins" CD/LP/Track Review Mannequins
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31" CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Lantern" CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Putting Off Death" CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.