278

Sarah DeLeo: The Nearness of You

By

Sign in to view read count
Jazz vocalist Sarah DeLeo's debut album is bookended by two bossa nova treatments from the Great American Songbook: the Shapiro/Campbell piece "If I Had You" and Cole Porter's "So In Love." The most notable aspect of DeLeo's style is the Peggy Lee vibe that she often summons up in her delivery of these songs. Over the past year, we've seen and read a lot about singers like Madeleine Peyroux, who presents almost all of her material in a very accurate Billie Holiday setting. The issue, in that case, still remains: are we listening to an imitation or sincerity?

In the case of Sarah DeLeo, I believe that we're only conscious of the similarity on songs that were in the Peggy Lee songbook. For instance, her performance of Lee's oft-used opening song "It's A Good Day," co-written by her then-husband Dave Barbour, is right on the money. I cannot think of an existing recording of Peggy Lee performing the Ray Charles-associated song "(The Night Time Is) The Right Time," although I've seen her singing Ray Charles tunes on TV during the early '60s. DeLeo's rendering of this song is amazingly close to how Lee might have performed it, right down to the arrangement.

The Ned Washington/Hoagy Carmichael title tune is given an intimate reading assisted by Chris Bergson's guitar work, and on the Matt Dennis/Earl Brent classic "Angel Eyes" DeLeo performs an attractive duet with Mark Verdino's bass. Ditto for the Rodgers & Hart song "It's Easy To Remember," with only the supporting trio of Bergson, Verdino, and Diego Voglino on brushes. However, the Billy Hill ballad "The Glory of Love" is a mistake. Upgraded to a rock-ish tempo, the lyrics are sung in an odd meter, evidently reflecting the work of rapper Mos Def, and become meaningless.

The Nearness of You also includes two songs taken from more contemporary settings. Americana singer/songwriter Erin McKeown contributes "Blackbirds" and Chuck Meyer and Bill Jones provide a witty "Too Young For The Blues."


Track Listing: If I Had You; It's a Good Day; The Nearness of You; The Right Time; The Glory of Love; Blackbirds; Too Young for the Blues; Angel Eyes; It's Easy to Remember; So in Love.

Personnel: Sarah DeLeo: vocal; Chris Bergson: guitar; Brian Charette: piano; David Cook: Rhodes electric piano; Chuck Mackinnon: trumpet; Mark Verdino: bass; Diego Boglino: drums.

Title: The Nearness of You | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Sweet Sassy Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Déjà Vu CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Two in a Box CD/LP/Track Review Two in a Box
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Discussions CD/LP/Track Review Discussions
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Magia" CD/LP/Track Review Magia
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 6, 2016
Read "Deeper Journey" CD/LP/Track Review Deeper Journey
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Hoping Against Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hoping Against Hope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "Live at PafA" CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "IZA" CD/LP/Track Review IZA
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Imaga Mondo" CD/LP/Track Review Imaga Mondo
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 23, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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