International Performing Artist
Copyright 2013. Donna Singer. All rights reserved.
H. Allen Williams JAZZ TIMES
"Donna Singer is a jazz singer that was raised in New York’s Catskill Mountains with a family of jazz enthusiasts; hearing the likes of Thelonius Monk, Dinah Washington and other great jazz artists. It was not long before Singer was doing just that, singing and performing jazz. Singer also has a touch of gospel that is always infused in her singing style. She graduated from The New York Academy of Theatrical Arts with formal training at Julliard School.
Singer has been releasing CDs regularly with longtime collaborator Doug Richards. Take the Day Off: Escape With Jazz and Jazz In The Living Room are two excellent CDs that represent the vocal integrity of Singer, with the musical creativeness from Richards. Singer is very apt at interpreting the standards and on her latest release, Destiny, Moment of Jazz, she again keeps the majority of the material standards with a few well-placed originals, “This Moment of Now” (Carole Belle, Roy Singer) and “Sweet Destiny” (Carole Belle, Roy Singer).
Singer’s delivery of the melody of “Our Love Is Here To Stay” is full of interesting phrasing and her melodic ornamentation of various key notes is consistent. Her time is clear and her pitch is focused; vibrato is used liberally, but never to the point of distraction. The group is always supportive, especially pianist Billy Alfred, he leads Singer at the right moments and places plush supporting chords on the right melody notes.
The Doug Richards Trio is featured on “I’ll Remember April” with singer stepping aside and letting the trio do an instrumental for the halfway mark on the CD; a nice texture change. The trio obviously has played together for many years, Richards driving electric bass is full and swingingly locked with Cervone’s drum kit. The trio has an unexpected, yet nice surprise during the trading of fours section after the solos, Cervone’s last measure of the grouping of four’s having one less beat, which gives a nice flow variance.
“What A difference A Day Made” is started with a gospel inspired intro between Singer and Alfred. Singer most certainly can lift the spirit up and have the blessings come down. The tune finally settles into a medium swing for the remainder of the melody. Resisting the temptation to lavish the music up with too many changes, Singer has continued to invest wisely in great musicians, tasty arrangements and well sung melodies. As the saying goes: if it ain't broke and it ain't broke, don't fix it. Destiny, Moment of Jazz is an enjoyable moment of jazz and whether the songs are swingers or heartstring pullers, Singer has the control and conviction to get the best out of them, focusing on vibrant musical arrangements a no-nonsense delivery of the melodies."