Donna Byrne - Byrnin'
Donna Byrne Byrnin'
By Donna Byrne
Very + + Good to Like New Condition. (Includes Cd, jewel case, and original artwork inserts, all in very good condition. )
For her latest album, Donna Byrne returns to her Ol' Socks label for which she made her first CD in 1990. Over the ensuing eight years, the voice, while a little huskier, has lost not an iota of its attractiveness; neither has Byrne mislaid any ability to deliver a varied and interesting agenda of tunes in a most entertaining way. Swing is the tempo of choice for the first two numbers "The More I See You" and "Somewhere in the Hills." While there's a bit of a bossa nova beat present in the Antonio Carlos Jobim/Ray Gilbert not too often recorded "Hills," swing is the dominant tempo of the record. Stevie Wonder's "If It's Magic" gets an unusually plaintive reading from Byrne, accompanied by Tim Ray's piano, which is in synch with the tune's mood. Byrne introduces "Green Dolphin Street" and breathes new life into it with a verse sung a cappella and a masterfully delivered scatting chorus. Her interpretation ranks with Ella Fitzgerald's and Sheila Jordan's readings of this classic standard. There are many other goodies on the CD. "Don't Take Your Love from Me," starts out with a Latin beat and segues into a bluesy tempo featuring fine bass work by Byrne's husband Marshall Wood. "Down with Love" is done with a slightly Peggy Lee sardonic touch through which Byrne opines that this "pain" called love, as well as anything and anyone associated with it, should be put away for good. Again Wood does yeoman work on the bass. The album ends with a romping version of "Just Friends," where Byrne delivers the lyrics at a breakneck pace. At no time, however, does she lose the beat or her pitch; nor in any way does she slur the words as so often happens when a song is delivered at this pace. Tim Ray and Jim Gwin stretch out splendidly on this tune. Donna Byrne's fifth album validates her as one of the most accomplished and entertaining jazz vocalists on the scene today, deserving far greater recognition than she has been afforded to date.