It may take a while to wrap your ears around A Quiet Thing. Afterall, how often do you hear a countertenor sing Harold Arlen, let alone on the same album with John Dowland and Bellini? But David Daniels is a stylistically nimble and unfailingly musical performer, and a singer in the fullest sense -- not just a niche voice best confined to Handel and Monteverdi. Here, he and guitarist Craig Ogden deliver an intimate duet program of songs from all over the map, and while not every track succeeds equally, all are lovingly performed, finely detailed, and beautifully sung. Daniels uses some less "legit" vocal colors in the Broadway selections, and manages to find just the right tone for each of the three Bellini songs. The Spanish selections bring out the unusual richness and warmth of his singing, and Gabriel Mena's A la caza gives Ogden the welcome opportunity to let loose with rich chords. The most successful track on the album is the anonymous Shenandoah, arranged by Roland Chadwick; the pointed harmonics of the guitar and a soulful delivery combine to great effect. Ogden arranged all of the other selections himself, and he plays his very idiomatic transcriptions beautifully, adapting to the differing styles and moods at will. A Quiet Thing was recorded in two different rooms, and the acoustical differences are readily audible. Also, a few spots reveal an uncharacteristically covered, almost diffuse quality to Daniels' voice; hopefully in his quest to broaden his (and listeners') horizons, he will not leave behind the crystalline singing that made him such a star.
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AllMusic Review by Allen Schrott