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Deanna Kirk - Lost In Languid Love Songs (2012)

31-01-2015, 19:05
Music | Jazz | Vocal Jazz

Deanna Kirk - Lost In Languid Love Songs (2012)

Artist: Deanna Kirk
Title Of Album: Lost In Languid Love Songs
Year Of Release: 2012
Genre: Jazz Vocals
Label: Deanna Kirk
Format: MP3
Quality: 320 kbps, 44.1 Khz
Total Time: 51:23
Total Size: 120 Mb
Covers: Front

01. I Wanna Be Loved (5:02)
02. Until It's Time For You To Go (4:33)
03. Once Upon A Summertime (4:59)
04. Summer Me, Winter Me (4:59)
05. Wouldn't It Be Loverly (2:47)
06. Gentle Rain (4:10)
07. These Foolish Things Remind Me Of You (5:24)
08. Song For Old Lovers (6:11)
09. They Say It's Wonderful (4:35)
10. Don't Look Back (2:26)
11. Labor Of Love (1:42)
12. Skylark (4:30)

If Deanna Kirk were not such a gifted singer, she's probably have made a damn good hypnotist. The mesmerizing sound of her lovely, feathery, voice—ethereal and yet conversationally phrased with naturalness—and the way she spins a lyric and creates a mood pulls you into the spells she casts. Images presented in the bonus track of the standard "Skylark" could paint a picture of the tender, fragile, lovelorn environs and personae she creates: "faint as the will o' the wisp"; "a meadow in the mist where someone's longing to be kissed"; "a blossom-covered lane." Rare is the song stylist who can paint such vivid yet elusive scenes with such specificity in the way she colors and intones even the most well-known words. A wistful sigh crystallizes the pang of a much-missed treasured romantic memory in "Once Upon a Summertime" and one can see clearly through the mist and tears the many sentiment-drenched items in the list song "These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)." Yes, Lost in Languid Love Songs is a perfect title for this moody, brooding collection that immerses itself in longing and liquid dreaminess.

Deanna, a gifted jazz-influenced vocalist who seems to disappear for long stretches of time, caught my attention years ago with one of the earliest of her several albums and I was delighted to find her also re-emerging for some live Manhattan gigs in the last year or two. She's a captivating and unique in-person presence with very much her own presentation style and stance, and her gamine image and the (broken) heart on her sleeve come through—just through—her sweet and well-calibrated voice.

Most tracks have an element of sorrow; clouds seem poised to come into rain, and silver linings appear in them when things get gloomy. It never gets too weepy or wailing, as she has her own point of keeping on the communicative, storytelling side of the fence rather crossing over to play the "poor me" card. There's a grown-up kind of acknowledgment and acceptance of the struggles and pains that come with the territory called love and life. Annie Get Your Gun's "They Say It's Wonderful" is re-shaped to allow a more experienced point of view—not a first-timer at romance, but someone waiting for one of her romantic adventures to have a happier ending. You can get that in the way she implies the word "or" in the lyric's line, "so they say." Another show tune is the lightest/brightest spot, emotionally, with "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" from My Fair Lady getting some respite from gloom and doom as the character drifts into her reverie about a warm, comfy place. It gets its playfulness quotient.

The musicians are first rate. Pianist-arranger John di Martino provides attentive, simpatico settings that embrace the storylines of the material caringly and carefully. Though he's a prodigiously skilled jazzman who can be very cerebral, fleet in side trip improvisations, he's more reserved and cinematically sketching here. Joined by the excellent bassist Neil Miner and superb sax player Harry Allen (who gets many tasty moments that add much flavor), the band is completed with the percussion players Manolo Badrena and sensitive drummer Tim Horner. The playing throughout is same-page thoughtful and resonant with the exquisite vocals.

The only way Lost in Languid Love Songs loses its way is in the credits, with several songwriter credits having spelling errors or being incomplete. But there's no sense of incompleteness or inattentiveness with the way these languid love songs, a rewarding world to be willingly lost in. ~Rob Lester

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