The happy music reputed to be heard from the streets outside of jazz clubs is what listeners will find on Donna Singer’s new CD Jazz in the Living Room featuring the Doug Richards Trio. Consisting of twelve jazz standards and two original tracks, the album projects the elegance of piano bars and chic cafés. The graceful gait of Richards’s bass augments Singer’s vocal nuances and soul blues tonality as the buoyant beats of Mike Cervone’s drums support the smooth swells of Jeff Otis’s guitar and the animated verses of Billy Alfred’s piano. The cohesiveness in the tracks speaks volumes about the group’s simpatico and ability to play off one another.
American smooth swing numbers like “Summertime” and “The Nearness of You” are imbued with a torchlight glow bringing out the group’s talent for soul jazz ambiences while bubbly tracks like “Honeysuckle Rose” and “Bye Bye Blackbird” make excellent use of Singer’s perkiness and the animated patter of the piano hooks fringed in a dusting of brushed drum strokes. Joining the ranks of the latter two is “Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me” with arching bass knolls and a peppiness in the keys that promulgates an upbeat mood moving into the sunny atmosphere of “Satin Doll” surrounded in pumping beats and nimble keys.
The silky bossa nova treads of “Another Bossa” has a gentle ambling tempo which suspends Singer’s romantically hued vocals and sways into the luxuriating ambience of “I Got Rhythm” as the fluid waves of Otis’s guitar induces a hypnotic flutter. The luxuriating feel of Singer’s vocals along the mellow wisps of “As Long As He Needs Me” changes to a robust gusto in “Route 66” as she accentuates the jumping blues zest of the keys. The feathery rustle of her vocals in “Dindi” lifts the listener up into flight then takes off into an island ambience in “Reve Aver,” an instrumental that is a balm on the senses.
Jazz in the Living Room has a sentiment feel entrenched in American smooth swing and soul jazz ambiences. The songs imbue a love of life and a vibrancy to maintain a positive attitude. It’s happy music that gave jazz clubs their mark as sanctuaries of solace.
Donna Singer – vocals, Doug Richards – bass, Billy Alfred – piano, Mike Cervone – drums, and Jeff Otis – guitar
Honeysuckle Rose, Bye Bye Blackbird, Summertime, On Green Dolphin Street, The Nearness of You, Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me, Satin Doll, ‘S Wonderful, Dindi, Another Bossa, I Got Rhythm, As Long As He Needs Me, Route 66, Reve Aver