The title of this CD, Ballads From the Black Sea, is not exactly accurate since, with one exception, the songs are jazz standards and the music is not confined to ballads. However, it does feature a visitor to America from the Black Sea, Armenian singer Datevik. The daughter of a top folksinger, Datevik proves to be a talented jazz vocalist with a wide range and an appealing voice. Her versions of such tunes as "Perdido," "A Child Is Born," "Desafinado," and "I'm Beginning to See the Light" are fresh, and this set concludes with an unaccompanied improvisation recorded while she was warming up before the session. With fine backing by the Larry Willis Trio and tenor saxophonist Igor Butman, this is a strong American debut for Datevik. But what has she done since?
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow