Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra capped its socially-distanced 2020-21 season
at Artis-Naples on Wednesday, May 12 with a concert that featured singer Denise
Donatelli. With strong support from the venue’s resident jazz sextet (with an added special guest), it showcased
the Los Angeles-based singer’s superb no-frills vocal artistry.
for bringing me to Naples. Thanks for getting me out of the house,” Donatelli
told the band and the masked audience scattered throughout Hayes Hall. This was her
first live concert gig in more than a year, but there was no rust in evidence.
None at all.
Donatelli sings in service to the song and the lyrics. No
vocal gymnastics. No needless scatting. None of the artifice or theatrics sometimes
found in the cabaret world. This is a good thing. Her timing, her phrasing and
her innate sense of swing were on full display and fit hand-in-glove with the
band’s instrumental support.
NPJO includes tenor saxophonist and artistic director Lew Del Gatto, trumpeter
Dan Miller, violinist Glenn Basham, pianist Jerry Stawski, bassist Kevin
Mauldin and drummer Mike Harvey. For this performance, because several of Donatelli’s
recent recordings have included a guitarist, they were joined by John
Hart. A New York jazz scene mainstay for several decades with extensive
experience backing singers, Hart is now a guitar lecturer at the University of
Miami’s Frost School of Music. He fit right in with this high-powered band.
|Donatelli, Hart, Del Gatto|
swung hard right out of the gate with a 10-tune program that included “That Old
Devil Moon,” “All or Nothing At All,” “When Lights Are Low,” “You Stepped Out
of a Dream” (Donatelli remarking that singing in front of a live audience again
indeed felt like a dream), Burt Bacharach’s “A House is not a Home” and “My Shining
Hour.” Other fine choices scattered through the program from Donatelli’s
wide-ranging repertoire included Gigi Gryce’s “Social Call” (with Jon Hendricks
lyrics), The Crusaders/Bill Withers hit “Soul Shadows,” and jazz arrangements
of Sting’s 2013 song “Practical Arrangement” (with the horns sitting out), and
Joni Mitchell’s most appropriate “Be Cool.”
|John Hart, Kevin Mauldin|
instrumentalists were featured with strong solo moments throughout the evening.
Basham was showcased on “Social Call,” Hart on “When Lights are Low,” Miller on
the poignant “You Stepped Out of a Dream.” Del Gatto, a thoughtful soloist who
never plays an unnecessary note, was featured on “That Old Devil Moon” and “A
House is not a Home.”
of the pandemic, the NPJO moved its series from the cozier 275-seat Daniels
Pavilion to the 1,700-seat Hayes Hall performance hall next door, with limited
seating and mandatory masking. Next season, they hope to bring in several scheduled
special guests who were unable to make the series this year. They include alto
saxophonist Charles McPherson and singer Kenny Washington.
|Stawski, Hart, Mauldin, Donatelli, Harvey|
|Donatelli and Hart with the Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra|
Post a Comment