Vancouver jazz vocalist Dee Daniels reworks pop songs from the past half-century on Jazzinit, a title designed to make the listener ask: "Does she mean Jazz in it, or Jazzin' it?"
The answer is both. She and her backing trio (Tony Foster on piano, Russ Botten on bass, Greg Williamson on drums) kick things off with a hard-swin rendition of the Earth Wind & Fire R&B number Can't Hide Love, making it sound like it was written for jazz quartet. Stevie Wonder's Another Star receives a ballad treatment, and the Doobie Brothers song What a Fool Believes has an Afro-Cuban feel punctuated by synchopated shots by the band.
As always, Daniels owns each song she performs. She has all the tools -- great range, power, taste and interpretive command, and when she takes a familiar song in a different direction, it feels just right. She belts out the Everly Brothers number Bye Bye Love, making you feel the lyric "hello emptiness." She performs the Otis Redding's hit Respect as a brisk shuffle, and you have to love the way she sings, "Whip it to me when you get home."
James Taylor's Fire and Rain has a solid backbeat that doesn't feel like a violation of the original.
© The Vancouver Sun 2007