156

Deborah Winters: Lovers After All

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Deborah Winters: Lovers After All Placing vocalists under a specific, descriptive heading can be limiting in some ways, but it also shines a light on their greatest strengths. Singer Joe Williams—of Count Basie fame—resented being labeled as a "blues singer," since he possessed great range and felt that this tag had suggestions of racism behind it; few would argue, however, that his strongest body of work falls into that category.

Vocalist Deborah Winters—like Williams and any singer worth their weight in sound—is no one-trick pony, but she also has one special talent that overshadows her other gifts. On Lovers After All, the Bay Area-based vocalist establishes herself as a ballad singer with which to be reckoned. She can sing over swing with confidence ("Get Out Of Town") and sway to the subtle sounds of the bossa nova ("Haunted Heart"), but her ballad work eclipses all else. Her voice has depth and warmth that instantly soothes and seduces; her use of vibrato is rare and judicious, and her pacing, clarity and diction are perfectly suited to this particular style of song.

While plenty of singers that thrive in softer environments perform romantic fare with minimalistic backing, Winters' winning performances are a bit more dressed up. Trumpeter Peter Welker provides the band arrangements on this project, and his ability to cushion Winters' voice, while still creating music of interest, is key to the album's success. He fleshes out some rich chords with five horns ("Lovers After All"), paints silken saxophone sounds into the body of a classic ("Body And Soul"), and steps into the spotlight with horn-in-hand on an intimate vocal-piano-flugelhorn take on "I'll Close My Eyes." Notable instrumental solos from the likes of trombonist Scott Whitfield, tenor saxophonist Roberts Brothers, and several others adds weight to these performances, and several tracks also benefit from the addition of Pete Levin's synthesized string work, which sounds remarkably real, adding substance in subtle ways.

The Achilles heel on this album comes in the form of a blues-leaning take on "I Love Being Here With You"—with a less-than-comfortable Winters working over a stiff and mechanical-sounding band that includes an organ which doesn't blend well—but the other ten tracks suffer no such weaknesses. On Lovers After All, Deborah Winters proves to be an adept singer of songs, teller of timeless tales, and craftswoman of classy musical concoctions.

Track Listing: Lovers After All; How Am I To Know; Get Out Of Town; Body And Soul; i Love Being Here With You; For All We Know; Haunted Heart; The End Of A Love Affair; Come Sunday; How Deep Is The Ocean; I'll Close My Eyes.

Personnel: Deborah Winters: vocals; Doug Morton: trumpet (1-5, 9, 10); Peter Welker: trumpet (1-5, 9, 10), flugelhorn (11); Charlie McCarthy: alto saxophone (1, 4, 7, 9, 10); Rob Roth: tenor saxophone (1-5, 8-10); Scott Petersen: baritone saxophone (1-5, 9, 10); Mark Levine: piano (1, 4, 8, 9, 10); Chris Amberger: bass (1-4, 6-10); Kevin Dillon: drums (1, 4, 8-10); Andrew Speight: alto saxophone (2, 3, 5); Fred Lipsius: alto saxophone (2, 6); Scott Whitfield: trombone (2, 3, 6, 7); Dave Mathews: pianos (2, 3, 6, 11), Hammond B3 organ (5); Celso Alberti: drums (2, 7); Randy Vincent: guitar (2, 3, 7); Pete Levin: string synth (2, 4, 6); Kendrick Freeman: drums (3, 6); Garth Webber: guitar (5); Tim Haggerty: bass (5); James Preston: drums (5).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Jazzed Media | Style: Contemporary/Smooth


Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Fugitive Beauté" CD/LP/Track Review Fugitive Beauté
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "True Love Collection" CD/LP/Track Review True Love Collection
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "HUJE 2015" CD/LP/Track Review HUJE 2015
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 2, 2016
Read "Twelve Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Twelve Moons
by Phil Barnes
Published: August 30, 2016
Read "Ed Calle 360" CD/LP/Track Review Ed Calle 360
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "B'shnorkestra: Global Concertos" CD/LP/Track Review B'shnorkestra: Global Concertos
by Paul Rauch
Published: October 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

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!