Daniela Nardi

One True Thing

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One True Thing Review

by Jonathan Widran

The press materials for this appealing, pure voiced Canadian singer/songwriter's official debut have numerous quotes from the jazz press. She and her exciting trio garnered a Canadian Smooth Jazz Award (Best Group) in 2006 and a Boomtang mix of her cool, laid-back "You...So, Beautiful" was promoted to smooth jazz radio. But while Nardi has a sensual voice and a definite affinity for jazzy styles -- most notably, the gentle, trumpet laced and Brazilian flavored "Hands" -- she's more a classic singer/songwriter in the Joni Mitchell tradition; the modern equivalent of that is of course, Marilyn Scott, who is lesser known but another perfect reference point for those trying to hone in on Nardi's ample charms. The emotional core of One True Thing, however, seems to be the lyrically and musically edgy blues-driven opener "Woman Me" (featuring the blistering harmonica harmonies of Tortoise Blue) and the gospel-tinged rolling blues of "Mr. God." "Face of the Moon" has a few touches of this within a romantic pop/rock context. Even on songs that are less musically powerful, her voice, emotional but subtle where it needs to be, slowly but surely finds its way into the listener's heart. In the format happy world of the mid-2000s, pegging Nardi in any one specific genre qualified as a unique kind of marketing dilemma, but she fit the "Starbucks aesthetic" to a T (or coffee).

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