Might as well get right to the point. This is another (her second) superb offering by the Pennsylvania denizen, vocalist/pianist Donna Antonow. While she continues to use a musical agenda of oft recorded standards, the way she presents them does more than breathe new life, she completely resuscitates them. With a highly attuned sense of timing and phrasing, she works in and around the melody in such a way that makes them appear reborn. Be assured that she is not adopting a bunch of put on affectations in order to be "different". Her style is perfectly legitimate and is what jazz singing is all about, risk taking and extemporization. She takes a standard and for four or five minutes, makes the song her own and when she is finished, the song is better for that experience. And it's not just her singing that achieves this object, but the manner in which she melds both voice and piano. The piano is not a mere adjunct to, but an equal partner in Antonow's interpretations. On "I Got Rhythm" she takes the first vocal chorus with some subtle changes in the melodic structure of the tune which she carries over into her piano bridge. Added fillips on this track are the guitar rendering of Walt Bibinger and a good bass solo by Dave Antonow with Antonow's piano comping underneath. And so it goes with each track offering its own set of pleasurable discoveries.
Antonow still sings with that tinge of R & B, but it is not as pronounced as on her first album. But every now and then the gospel like singing to the heavens comes through. Listen to the South Pacific tune "Happy Talk". But this only adds to this delightful CD. Recommended.
Track Listing: Yes, Sir, That's My Baby; Summer Night; Oh, What a Beautiful Morning; Can't Help Lovin' That Man of Mine; While We're Young; Ain't (He) Sweet; I'm Glad There Is You; Happy Talk; I'll Be Around; I Got Rhythm
Personnel: Donna Antonow - Vocal/Piano; Walt Bibinger - Guitar; Howie Collins - Rhythm Guitar; Dave Antonow - Bass; Tom Sayek - Drums
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.