[JPL] New Recordings

Jae Sinnett jaejazz at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 21 20:19:48 EDT 2008

Denise Donatelli - "What Lies Within"....Rarely do I write in about vocal recordings because most don't do much for me. There are exceptions and "What Lies Within" is certainly one of them. Denise is one of the great seasoned vocalist today that doesn't get the press she deserves. She always sounds great but add that talent on top of Geoffrey Keezer's amazingly challenging and visionary arrangements and you get in my view...the top female vocal jazz recording of the year. The band is hittin behind her and it says a lot about the kind of talent you need as a singer to sing these arrangements. It's also great to hear "Smitty" Smith playing jazz again on record. There's nothing out there at the moment that remotely touches the musical depth of this recording in the female vocal arena. Definitely in my top picks of the year. Check out the reharmonization and the arrangement on "Daahoud." DEEP. One of many standouts.  

Frank Macchia - "Saxolollapalooza" - Impeccable arrangements on top of Peter Erskine's musically brilliant drumming. Having the horns with no traditional rhythm "section" on the surface would appear risky but they pull it off beautifully. It simply proves how deep Erskine is in his understanding of thematic concepts from the drumming chair. A+ for originality. Superb intonation and solo work and the tune selection with the shorter recorded times keeps this idea fresh throughout the entire project. Great job. 

Jae Sinnett 


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