Denise Donatelli covers Toledo and In The Darkest Place

Pretty self-explanatory
sweetest punch
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Denise Donatelli covers Toledo and In The Darkest Place

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Jul 28, 2021 3:56 pm

https://www.musicalamerica.com/mnews/ne ... tegoryID=5

Multi-Grammy Nominee Vocalist Denise Donatelli Releases 'Whistling In the Dark -- The Music Of Burt Bacharach on Savant Reords August 27, 2021

Just as the indelible vibe of the legendary Burt Bacharach was beginning to take hold of our culture and become the soundtrack of everyone’s lives, three-time GRAMMY® nominated vocalist Denise Donatelli, then a young girl growing up in Allentown, PA, found a deep connection to Dionne Warwick’s original version of “Walk on By.” And now, with her new album Whistling in the Dark – The Music of Burt Bacharach, she continues her lifelong love affair with his songs, marking her first concept album devoted to a single composer and her debut recording with legendary producer Larry Klein.

Recorded live under strict COVID-19 protocol in October 2020 at The Village Studios in Los Angeles, the sessions feature Denise bringing her warm vocal elegance with Klein’s hand selected all-star jazz/pop quartet of himself on bass, Larry Goldings on piano and organ, Anthony Wilson on guitar and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums.

The intimately arranged collection finds her and the four time GRAMMY® winning producer (Joni Mitchell, Melody Gardot, Madeleine Peyroux) discovering a fresh soulfulness in some of Bacharach’s iconic hits including “The Look of Love” and several originally associated with Warwick that Denise first heard growing up listening to the soul stations in nearby Philly: “Walk On By,” “In Between the Heartaches,” “Anyone Who Had a Heart” and “A House is Not a Home.” Two poignant lesser known songs, “Toledo” and “In the Darkest Place,” were collaborations with Elvis Costello from their 1998 album, Painted From Memory and the opening title track is an artful, atmospheric re-imagining of a track from Blue Umbrella, an EP by Bacharach and Daniel Tashian that earned a 2020 GRAMMY nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. One of the craftier choices is “Mexican Divorce,” originally a 1961 Lieber & Stoller-produced hit for The Drifters, which featured backing vocals by Warwick and Whitney Houston’s mother Cissy Houston.

Like many grand collaborations taking root in Los Angeles, the genesis of Whistling in the Dark traces back to a GRAMMY get-together that Denise and Klein attended. She was a longtime friend of his wife, singer Luciana Souza and a big fan of his work. Having enjoyed her previous recordings, Klein expressed interest in producing a project with her – but with a whole new pared down approach. They met numerous times to discuss possible material and last April, just after the start of the pandemic lockdown, Klein was on a call with a friend who had received a call from Bacharach. The proverbial light bulb went off and Klein telephoned Denise with the idea to do an album of all Burt Bacharach music. She was on board immediately and overcoming her initial concerns about finding unique ways to tackle this this project, the two created a powerful playlist balancing recognizable classics and more obscure songs from the immense catalog.

Larry’s approach to the recording was drastically different from what Denise had been used to with her earlier projects. Instead of having her familiarize herself with the arrangements beforehand, he invited her into dynamic, highly spontaneous sessions – nearly mirroring the effect of an impromptu live performance. To quote Denise from her liner notes: “Larry’s idea was to re-imagine Bacharach’s music in such a minimalistic way that examines the very essence of the songs. He knew what he was striving for, but left room in the process for what became a great collaboration among the musicians.”

Born and raised in the countryside of Allentown, PA, Denise, trained on classical piano from age four through her high school years and began her love of jazz at an early age. She grew up listening to all genres of music but fell in love with jazz and vocalist’s recordings of Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRae, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Living in Atlanta in the early 90’s, she began working at Turner Broadcasting and launched her singing career at the Ritz Carlton Hotel where she appeared regularly with a jazz trio for over five years.

Denise moved to Los Angeles in 2000 and immediately found her place in the tight knit community of well-respected musicians. In 2005, she released her debut recording In the Company of Friends, produced by pianist Tom Garvin on the Jazzed Media label. She then teamed with producer/pianist Geoffrey Keezer and their highly successful Savant Records collaborations earned four GRAMMY nominations: three for Best Jazz Vocal Album for When Lights Are Low (2010), Soul Shadows (2012) and Find a Heart (2015), and one for Best Arrangement for the track “Don’t Explain.” In 2012, Denise was chosen Jazz Vocalist of the Year by The Los Angeles Jazz Society, whose advisors at the time included Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones and Johnny Mandel. She has also placed in Downbeat Magazine’s Critics Poll in the categories of Best Female Jazz Vocalist and Rising Star for five consecutive years. Once described as a “musician’s singer” by the late saxophonist Phil Woods, her innate musicianship and pure tone have also earned her spots singing for episodes of “The Simpsons” and TV promos for Frazier, CBS/Paramount and Turner Classic Movies. Denise’s on-camera work includes national and international commercials for such brands as CNN, Hyundai, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz.

Denise is associated with the American Heart Association in memory of her son.

“As a recording artist, everything has been an extension of my formative years studying music, piano performances, listening to and singing along with great artists’ recordings. All of these endeavors have inspired this incredible journey. And what a great next stop on the journey this is – collaborating with Larry Klein paying tribute to one of the greatest songwriters of our time!” Whistling In the Dark—The Music of Burt Bacharach!

Track Listing

Whistling in the Dark (Burt Bacharach & Daniel Tashian)
The Look of Love (Burt Bacharach & Hal David)
In Between the Heartaches (Burt Bacharach & Hal David)
Toledo (Burt Bacharach & Elvis Costello)
Anyone Who Had A Heart (Burt Bacharach & Hal David)
Walk On By (Burt Bacharach & Hal David)
In The Darkest Place (Burt Bacharach & Elvis Costello)
Mexican Divorce (Burt Bacharach & Bob Hilliard)
A House is Not a Home (Burt Bacharach & Hal David)

PRODUCED BY LARRY KLEIN

Denise Donatelli, Vocals
Larry Goldings, Keyboards
Thomas Dybdahl, Prepared Piano & Synth (track 1)
Anthony Wilson, Guitar
Larry Klein, Bass, Additional Keyboards
Vinnie Colaiuta, Drums
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

Hawksmoor
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Re: Denise Donatelli covers Toledo and In The Darkest Place

Postby Hawksmoor » Sun Aug 01, 2021 4:13 am

Well, it's a canny choice, I'll give her that. Probably the two stand-out tracks on PFM, for me (and I love the whole LP).

sweetest punch
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Re: Denise Donatelli covers Toledo and In The Darkest Place

Postby sweetest punch » Tue Aug 10, 2021 6:12 am

Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
Posts: 4795
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 5:49 am
Location: Belgium

Re: Denise Donatelli covers Toledo and In The Darkest Place

Postby sweetest punch » Mon Aug 23, 2021 3:17 am

https://www.allaboutjazz.com/whistling- ... ?width=414

Denise Donatelli: Whistling In The Dark... The Music Of Burt Bacharach

The Burt Bacharach canon has always been fertile ground for artists of all kinds to explore. Stan Getz devoted an entire album to his fare. The big Bacharach hits are branded deep in the cultural psyche. Thus, the challenge that Grammy-nominated vocalist Denise Donatelli and producer Larry Klein have here is how to use a different ladle to invite you to imbibe from their recipe for Bacharach's musical champagne.

The session offers four Bacharach/Hal David hits—three hits with Dionne Warwick and one with Dusty Springfield—and two lesser-known Bacharach and Elvis Costello pieces. If there's a theme across Bacharach's popular hits, it is romantic love—and the boundless range of emotions love brings. However, on this session the mood is somewhat somber and less idealistic than the originals that flowed on AM frequencies decades ago in a different societal-cultural landscape.

The title track, originally done with a C+W sprinkle by Bacharach and Daniel Tashian, launches the session on a darker, "Twin Peaks"-tremeloed tone. "The Look of Love" is taken as original presented, albeit slightly reharmonized with a textural modality and a fine Anthony Wilson guitar solo. "In Between the Heartaches" is poetically darker than the 1966 Dionne Warwick take. "Toledo," and "In the Darkest Place," both Bacharach-Costello collaborations, are deeply dramatic items. "Mexican Divorce" is a Bacharach Brill Building classic that was originally recorded by "The Drifters" in the late 1950s (with pre-Bacharach Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston's Mom, Cissy included on backup vocals).

On each of these and throughout the album, Donatelli is a rhapsode, a tale-teller and artist of the highest order. She has always been a singer of vocalized intimacy. Here, as is her trademark, she's being intimate with our ear (and, ensuingly, our hearts) via the poetry she delivers. Her diction and pitch are pure and her phrasing is almost instrumental. She carries her lines to the end where, based on the lyric, they either wring out every drop of emotional juice or just plain ring out. As for her all-around artistic chops, she could make Bacharach's "Beware of the Blob" become a lusciously seductive love song. .

Interestingly, there are no up-tempo selections on the date. Leading one to further confirm there are "concept" elements at play. "Casino Royale" and "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" stayed home. The studio musicians are world class and the arrangements are such that the spotlight is on the vocalist. All are reserved in a minimalistic, yet colorful way. Think a beautiful Japanese watercolor.

Whistling in the Dark may not appeal to listeners who prefer their Bacharach as originally birthed. However, in terms of vocal and production excellence, this take provides—as all great art should—an intelligent, involving, emotion-delivering perspective. Knowing Bacharach, he will assuredly raise a goblet and drink up.

4 stars (out of five)
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
Posts: 4795
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 5:49 am
Location: Belgium

Re: Denise Donatelli covers Toledo and In The Darkest Place

Postby sweetest punch » Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:55 pm

Album is available now.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.


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