Vocalist Angela DeNiro sings with blue-ribbon vocal abilities. This is evident in her release Swingin' With Legends 2 . Accompanied by the Ron Aprea Big Band, supplemented by special guests Randy Brecker, Ken Peplowski and Lew Tabackin, she sails through fourteen love songs written by some of the greatest composers of the American Songbook, providing a deep understanding and command of the material she performs.
The album opens with "New York City Blues," a not frequently heard composition by Quincy Jones and Peggy Lee. The initial tranquil run-through of the melody is simply a precursor to an all-out full-throttle vocal interpretation buoyed by the brassy big band. Trumpeter Bryan Davis shows he is all in with some stratospheric notes.
Continuing her musical exploration where interpretation and expression play a significant role, DeNiro embarks on two love-themed numbers: "Easy To Love" and "Hello Young Lovers." The former opens with a soulful clarinet solo from Ken Peplowski before the band roars in to allow DeNiro to ride along before she scats into the chorus transcribed from Rob McConnell's Boss Brass version of the number. On the latter number, the delicate opening comes from trumpeter Randy Brecker before the band dives into a hard-swinging romp, with DeNiro executing the song with flair.
Throughout the recording, DeNiro realizes each number with a lively and rhythmic quality to her singing. So whether it is "It Might as Well Be Spring" that has a Lew Tabackin tenor sax opening or "Don'cha Go Way Mad" or "That Old Black Magic" ( hello Billy Daniels), those previously noted qualities enhance the authenticity and vibrancy of these performances. The memorable jazz standard "On Green Dolphin Street" rips with a swinging chart from Aprea, including a speedy overdubbed scatting section from DeNiro. Todd Bashore chips in with sparkling alto sax solo.
The closing track is "A Curtain Falls," which is a sensitive ballad that the inimitable Bobby Darin used to sing. DeNiro offers her brief take on the number, which she delivers passionately, enhancing her emotional connection to the rendition. All in all, an enjoyable and musically satisfying experience.
New York City Blues: You'd Be So Easy to Love: Hello Young Lovers; A House Is Not a Home;
Willow Weep for Me; It
Might As Well Be Spring; Don't Cha Go Away Mad; Two for the Road; That Old Black Magic;
Come In From the Rain;
On Green Dolphin Street; My One and Only Love; For Phil; The Curtain Falls.
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