Donna Antonow

Summer Night

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Summer Night is the second trip by vocalist/pianist Donna Antonow to the studio. As on her successful first outing, Out of Nowhere, this album concentrates on a musical agenda of familiar material; Antonow devotes a little more time this time around to display her pianistic talents with significant keyboard explorations on "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby," "I Got Rhythm," and "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning." But it is that very singular vocal timbre that makes Antonow such a compelling performer, deserving of more attention than she is getting now. Her ability to extend each note and phrase gives her interpretations of these lyrical nuggets a special flavor. She demonstrates that a singer can adopt an out-of-the-ordinary approach to the vocal art without having to exaggerate or distort. Being different while at the same time sounding natural is quite an endeavor that Antonow pulls off with ease and aplomb. Like Billie Holiday, Antonow may well be an acquired taste for some. And like Holiday, that acquisition will be a treasured one. Her rendition of such romantic but somewhat wistful ballads as "While We're Young" and "I'll Be Around" seem to have been written with her vocal technique in mind. Backed by musicians who share her performing philosophy and musical artistry, this CD is a legitimate vocal nugget and is recommended.

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