PEREZ CELEBRATES SINATRA AT THE METROPOLITAN ROOM
By Marcina Zaccaria
Go to review …
AMSTERDAM NEWS JAZZ NOTES:
By Ron Scott
Perez, yes, she goes by that one name. As a point of reference she was formerly known as Diana Perez. As a jazz vocalist she is paying her dues and gets better with time.
Her recent date at Smoke was filled to capacity, as she demonstrated a fresh perspective to some well-traveled tunes. Her renditions of “Detour Ahead” and “Nature Boy” stood out. While wood-shedding her craft throughout Gotham she has amassed an ever growing fan base. Perez has her own style, a sultry voice, that can’t be compared to other singers.
Her third CD “It’s Happening” was just released on Zoho Music. Here she’s backed by the ensemble of pianist David Hazeltine, drummer Joe Farnsworth, drummer Nat Reeves, trombonist Steve Davis, trumpeter Ron Horton and tenor saxophonist Jed Levy. Perez tackles standards like “Blame It on My Youth,” “In The Wee Small Hours,” and Jobim’s “Corcovado.”
Perez is taking voice lessons from a variety of coaches including, ironically, two noted pianists Barry Harris and Bertha Hope. This singer Perez is on the move.
Media Alert: Perez It’s Happenin’ Zoho 200803
PEREZ vocals, JED LEVY Tenor sax, flute, DAVID HAZELTINE piano, NAT REEVES bass, JOE FARNSWORTH drums, STEVE DAVIS trombone, RON HORTON trumpet
CD Review: http://www.newsobserver.com/105/story/1051545.html
BY OWEN CORDLE, Correspondent
There are brief, mood-setting arrangements and plenty of inspired instrumental solos, no doubt elicited by the quality of her singing and the quality of the songs, standards such as ‘Blame It on My Youth,’ ‘Corcovado,’ ‘In the Wee Small Hours’ and ‘Detour Ahead.’Perez has a natural way of singing, reminiscent of Anita O’Day. She never strains after mood and feeling. They’re inherent in her musical understanding.
Of course, it helps to have pianist David Hazeltine (good drive, rich block chords) backing her, along with bassist Nat Reeves and drummer Joe Farnsworth. The horn players — trumpeter Ron Horton, trombonist Steve Davis and tenor saxophonist and flutist Jed Levy — sometimes appear en masse on a track, as on the atmospheric introduction to ‘Nature Boy,’ and sometimes singly.
Diana Perez grew up in New York, moved to Los Angeles when she was 17, discovered jazz, spent a decade in Europe (where she performed regularly at the Bimhuis inAmsterdam) and returned home to New York. She’s the kind of singer the band can like as well as the audience.
By: Edward Blanco
The lady begins the program with a sultry voicing of Herbie Hancock’s “Will You Still Be There” aided by appreciable horn play from Horton. On “Blame It On My Youth” the singer draws inspiration from personal experience and a difficult childhood to sing the lyrics. Hazeltine shines on this one with accompaniment from Levy on a fine flute foray.
I believe the late Antonio Carlos Jobim would be pleased with Perez’s rendition of his immortal classic, “Corcovado” where Perez voices lyrics in Portuguese. Hazeltine provides new arrangements of several tunes that take advantage of the singer’s vocal reach and providing a nice musical marriage with the band’s instrumentals. This is the case on “Milestones,” Eden Ahbez’s oft heard standard, “Nature Boy,” and Juan Tizol’s “Perdido,” made famous by the Ellington orchestra.
No question about this one folks, “It’s Happen’” is where it’s happening if you’re looking for a first-rate jazz vocals recording. Diana Perez delivers an enticing performance using lush vocals in mesmerizing fashion. Equally formidable is the sparkling play from the band that distinguishes themselves with exciting solos and excellent musicianship.
The Musicians’ Ombudsman
All about Jazz
Its Happenin ( ZOHO)
By Marcia Hillman
Although this cd is a studio recording, there is a feel akin to a live performance. This cd is a tasteful package both vocally and instrumentally and insures future storytelling by the vocalist.
PEREZ/It’s Happening: Probably a pal of Dutch jazz great Saskia Laroo, this Harlem born jazz singer split for LA at 17 where she sung until splitting for Amsterdam for ten years and working her way around the cool jazz scene in town. Now back state side, she rounded up some solid New York cats that can play it old Verve/Blue Note style and a good time is had by all. Fun jazz vocal set with a lot of instrumental stretching out that simply leaves you feeling good.
All about jazz – Perez:
C. MICHAEL BAILEY
Perez’s voice is a humidly sensual work of art: a perfectly formed alto with a solid bottom, a broad midrange of consistent density, and a confident top. This voice permits Perez to sing whatever she damn well pleases…and to sing it well. The listener need not cue up more than the disc’s two vocalese pieces: the Annie Ross vehicle “Farmer’s Market” and Giacomo Gates adaptation of Miles Davis’ “Milestones” to hear that the “new thing” in jazz vocals has arrived.
Perez’s band is sharp, particularly drummer Joe Farnsworth, who brings a big band sound to her sensible combo. He plays sensitively on the Bill Evans’ piece “Detour Ahead,” adapted by Perez from the classic Live At The Village Vanguard, which also sports a nifty flute solo by Jed Levy.
Perez’s third CD is her first opportunity to record for a U.S. label, in the company of fellow New Yorkers for this engaging session. The rich-toned alto has a touch of vibrato at the end of her phrases in ‘Will You Still Be There,’ a hip vocal version of Herbie Hancock’s song. She is very focused in the breezy samba setting of the bittersweet ‘Blame It on My Youth.’ She masters Annie Ross’ vocalese set to Art Farmer’s ‘Farmers Market,’ with delightful accompaniment by pianist David Hazeltine and flutist Jed Levy, while she also excels in Giacomo Gates’ vocalese rendition of Miles Davis’ ‘Milestones,’ featuring trombonist Steve Davis to good effect. Her moving ‘Detour Ahead’ has an air of hope, while the imaginative scoring of ‘Nature Boy’ keeps it from getting predictable. An excellent date by a jazz vocalist deserving of wider recognition.
..a listener, record store in Italy worker, – Stefano Nuzzo
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