The problem with jazz singing is that almost no two listeners can agree on exactly what it is. Fans of unbridled scatting tend to dismiss vocalists with a more lyrical side; listeners who enjoy lyrical storytelling have less regard for performers who use words as vehicles for ostentatious display. This makes the singing of Denise Donatelli particularly remarkable, since her style is able to employ the positive aspects of both camps. The first thing you notice is the rich timbre of her voice, which has the clarity and flexibility to sing almost any imaginable genre. With musical direction, arrangements and keyboard contributions by Geoffrey Keezer, Donatelli shows herself to be a jazz singer who belongs in the upper echelon of modern jazz vocalists with her new CD, "When Lights Are Low."
It's been a long journey for the five talented young musicians and composers of the band UoU from their start in Japan. They first arrived in the U.S. to attend at Berklee School of Music in Boston during the late '90s and early 2000s. Upon completion of their studies, they individually began working with top artists on the New York City jazz scene, including Mark Turner, Marcus Printup and Walter Blanding, before they formed UoU in 2008. Their debut CD -- "Home" -- is comprised of original compositions which fuse elements of Japanese-inspired melodies along with American jazz rhythms and harmonies.