Deanna Reuben captures the essence of romance through her heartfelt interpretation of our favorite songs. The Look of Love sends a message clearer than flowers or a box of candy or dinner and a movie. With this session, you get clarion vocals with a stellar jazz quintet that sparkles brightly through sensual ballads and upbeat rhythms. Tenor saxophonist Larry McKenna serves as Reuben's musical partner, adding rapturous melodies to her resonant vocal themes.
With a fluid delivery, she shapes each song like clay. The rhythm from bass and drums gives each piece a heartbeat, while Marty Mellinger's keyboards surround the session with synth strings and wallpaper of velvet. Reuben's attack moves with emotional force as she sends a passionate message through her charming interpretations. With "Summertime," for example, she explodes with the power of Shirley Bassey and creates lightning sparks along the way.
Most of the program, however, mellows out with soothing ballads that allow Reuben to wear her heart on her shirtsleeve. McKenna partners with her to add melodic grace. "The Look of Love" stands out for its floating quality as the singer caresses the familiar melody with a hug and a kiss. "I Concentrate on You" puts Reuben and McKenna together in one of those simpatico relationships that bring out the best from all parties. In her upper register, the singer wears thin when the volume diminishes, causing some of her sheen to fade. She's at her best when projecting forcefully up high and when crooning sweetly in the lower registers with that natural romantic spirit.
Track Listing: How Do You Keep the Music Playing; Body and Soul; Lazy Afternoon / Summertime; Here's that Rainy Day; The Look of Love; My Funny Valentine; I Concentrate on You; More Than You Know; This Masquerade; Bewitched; If I Never Met You; I'll Be Seeing You.
Personnel: Deanna Reuben: vocals; Marty Mellinger: keyboards; Larry McKenna: tenor saxophone; Keith Mohler: bass; Dave Santana: drums.
I love jazz because it's been a life's work.
I was first exposed to jazz by my father.
I met Hampton Hawes.
The best show I ever attended was Les McCann.
The first jazz record I bought was Herbie Hancock.
My advice to new listeners is to listen at a comfortable volume.