Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Walk in the Park
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
A dynamic and innovative pianist, a compelling and original singer, and a creative and sophisticated composer and arranger, DeRose debuts on MAXJAZZ with A Walk In The Park. Her fifth release, A Walk In The Park is her mu... more »
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A dynamic and innovative pianist, a compelling and original singer, and a creative and sophisticated composer and arranger, DeRose debuts on MAXJAZZ with A Walk In The Park. Her fifth release, A Walk In The Park is her much-anticipated and requested first trio recording . The trio here is first-rate: Martin Wind on bass and Matt Wilson on drums. All arrangements are by DeRose, who produced the CD and wrote three of the eleven tracks. DeRose selected little-known songs by Al Jolson and Duke Ellington in addition to well-known standards and - representative of her era ? even an iconic song by John Lennon.
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Ratings are so subjective....
Rick Cornell | Reno, Nv USA | 05/14/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Normally when I review a vocal jazz c.d., it takes two listens and I know exactly what I want to say and usually what rating to give. On this one, I gave it 4 listens and still struggled. I'm giving it 4; but if you believe I'm out of my mind for not giving it 5, I won't argue with you. And if you believe I'm out of my mind for not giving it 3, I won't argue with you, either.
On Dena DeRose the pianist: she's flat out terrific. Among the singer-pianists I've heard (Diana Krall, Patricia Barber and Shirley Horn), she's the best keyboardist. Here, her work on her originals, "Home (With You)", "In the Glow of the Moon" and "A Walk in the Park (With James") draws worthy comparisons to some of the finest accompanists in the business.
On Dena DeRose the singer: technically, she's very proficient. Her phrasings in particular are very notable. But her voice doesn't wow me. That's just me; and I feel the same way about such luminaries as Carol Sloane and the late Susannah McCorkle. But there's nothing here that makes me want to play the cut over and over, and nothing that makes me say, "Gosh, if only she had sung it this way...." It is what it is.
On Dena DeRose the arranger: These arrangements are well above average. In particular, I love what this group does to "All the Way", "Imagine" (the famous Lennon tune) and Cole Porter's "I Concentrate on You." (And special kudos to bassist Martin Wind, for his fabulous solo on "All My Love".) But in seeing the titles of the tracks, you may ask: "What is the theme of this album?" When you have an album with one standout, featured musician, I don't know that you need one; but in a collaboration like this between 3 accomplished musicians, I think the album ought to be about more than "Here's 11 songs that we really like."
Mea culpa: I feel guilty in giving this only 4. I remember last year I had a similar reaction to Kate McGarry's "Show Me", and I gave it 5 on the theory that underrated, relatively unknown jazz divas need more care, feeding, and attention. A year later, I've concluded that there are so many underrated, relatively unknown jazz divas on the scene that you have to have more than that to make a 5 star album. Sorry, Dena; sorry, Kate. RC"
Dena Switches Labels Without Missing a Beat!
Steve Emerine | Tucson, AZ United States | 04/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After four great recordings on another label, singer-pianist-composer Dena DeRose has again hit paydirt with CD No. 5, "A Walk in the Park." This one is on the MaxJazz label, which is fast gaining a name for turning out high-class jazz recordings, particularly those of singers and pianists. "Walk" features an hour of delightful tunes by Jobim, Ellington, Berlin, Kahn and Van Heusen, Porter, Jolson, Sigman, John Lennon and Dena herself. "A Walk in the Park With James," a tribute to the late guitarist, James Williams, is an instrumental, but Dena's splendid voice is heard on the other 10 tunes. Bassist Martin Wind and drummer Matt Wilson round out the DeRose trio with solid performances. The wait for this album was well over a year. Let's hope her second MaxJazz effort comes out much sooner and that more will follow."
DeRose is a female Nat King Cole!
madamemusico | Cincinnati, Ohio USA | 09/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I could quite easily pontificate for five or six paragraphs on the startling, brilliant music that Ms. DeRose produces, but just listening to this album (or her earlier, "I Can See Clearly Now") says it all for me. As a pianist, she synthesizes elements of Red Garland, Ahmad Jamal and Bill Evans into her own personal style; as a singer, she has in my view the clearest, most attractive and best-controlled voice since Ella (though her style is not the same). She sings with a clear, bell-like tone, attacking notes cleanly and with greatly varied swing even in ballads, ending her phrases with a terminal vibrato. Her "trick" of singing with her own improvisations is brilliant - an extension of the similar work done by bassist Slam Stewart in the 1940s and `50s.
Dena DeRose is the modern, female equivalent of Nat "King" Cole. It is indeed a shame that the music and entertainment worlds no longer have room for someone this talented and lacking in superficial attractions (gorgeous looks, wardrobe malfunctions, dancing with her thumb in the belt of her pants a la Britney Spears) to make a big name for herself.
If you enjoy not only Nat Cole but also Garland, Jamal and singers of the quality of Connee Boswell or Mavis Rivers, these CDs are for you.