Donna Antonow

Out of Nowhere

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Working out of East Stroudsburg, PA, vocalist Donna Antonow's first album, like many other recorded debuts, sticks to familiar standards from the pages of the Great American Popular Songbook. But there the similarity to others ends, and does so quite abruptly. Antonow has a vocal sound that is refreshingly her own. She has the ability to stretch and manipulate notes, shaping them to create the emotional framework she has established for each song in her mind's eye. This ability, coupled with a distinct set of nasal qualities, makes her voice one of the more unique and personal on the vocal jazz scene. Antonow also can apply undulations in the way she delivers a tune which gives a one of a kind texture to each song. She uses these individual features to reinvent such oft-performed tunes as "Blame It on My Youth" and an especially tender "You Don't Know What Love Is." Her voice takes on a fairy tale quality on "April Love." Even on the medium-tempo "Someday My Prince Will Come," the singer never loses her delicate vocal inflection. Antonow was fortunate to gather musicians sympathetic to her cause for this outing. Venerable bass player Michael Moore is a major factor in setting the framework for each track as well as contributing some major solo work. Glenn Davis' controlled rolls and cymbal work reinforce the almost celestial atmosphere that permeates this session, while guitarist Bill Washer adds his guitar on three tracks. Antonow supplies her own piano accompaniment in an unhurried, comfortable manner consistent with everything else that's happening on this outing. This conspicuous undertaking is highly recommended.

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