Jazz Weekly – “Denise Donatelli: Find A Heart”

Written By George W. Harris

Vocalist Denise Donatelli continues to create an impressive catalogue with this strong release that mixes forward looking material with traditional melodicism. The core supporting team of Geoffrey Keezer/p, Leonardo Amuendo/g, Carlitos Del Puerto/b and Marvin “Smitty” Smith is able to drive like a V8 on the charging take of Don Fagan’s “Big Noise, New York” and Donatelli rides the crest like a long boarder. She gives a hip reading of the title track and with Chris Botti bringing in his trumpet lets her voice glow with soft embers along with strings on the moody “Practical Arrangement.” Keezer’s own “Spaced Out (En Babia)” has Donatelli at her sensuous best, while their duet on Billy Strayhorn’s “Daydream” is gloriously reflective. This lady knows how to ride shotgun on a charging wagon, but sounds best when she’s cozy by the fireplace as with the other duet with Muendo on”Not Like This.” This is a lady that has a heart worth finding.

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