Dennis Day

All Things in Time

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Though singer Dennis Day has been in and out of music since the 1960s (and more closely entwined in jazz since the 1980s), it's only in 2008 that his debut album was released. All Things in Time acts as something of a showcase, trying to cover every angle of jazz vocals along the way, with Day taking the lead to change his style, chameleon-like, to fit the various songs. There are pieces from the Great American Songbook here; pieces from classic jazz, soul, and soul-jazz; a bit of Brazilian bossa nova, gospel, and more. With each passing track, Day takes a stab at converting his vocals to the song. Unfortunately, the result is a little strained. Instead of converting the songs to his style, there's trouble in Day's voice along the way when the songs are in need of a different singer, or the singer is in need of a different aesthetic. For the most part, Day's sound is a little stilted in phrasing, carefully enunciating the syllables as measures of their own, in the style of a latter-day Jon Hendricks. However, he tries to do other things as well. In "You Are Too Beautiful," Day tries to take on Johnny Hartman's deep, rich vocal style but instead comes across with a noticeable and ironic strain while trying to emulate Hartman's effortless delivery. In an old Ray Charles number, he attempts a more Southern effect and nearly delivers. In "Desifinado," he finally takes his own spin on a piece, but falls a little flat with his careful, staccato phrasing in an otherwise flowing piece of music. Throughout the album, Day proves that he has the chops of an excellent singer, and has an outstanding backing band that carries most of the tunes even when the mood of song and singer are at odds. However, one can only hope that in future albums, Day uses his vocal prowess in a more personal manner, rather than clashing with the classics.

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