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10-03-2015, 00:36

Diane Hoffman - My Little French Dancer

Category: Music

Diane Hoffman - My Little French Dancer
Artist: Diane Hoffman
Title Of Album: My Little French Dancer
Year Of Release: 2007
Label: My Little French Dancer
Genre: Jazz / Vocal Jazz
Quality: Mp3
Bitrate: 320kbps / 44.1kHz / Joint-Stereo
Total Time: 47:49 min
Total Size: 108 MB

01. Gone With The Wind
02. Well You Needn't
03. Close Enough For Love
04. When Love Was All We Had
05. Blackberry Winter
06. You're My Thrill
07. Sunday In New York
08. Two Years Of Torture
09. Yellow Days
10. Farewell, Noelle
11. When Did You Leave Heaven

Vocalist Diane Hoffman constructs a second independently produced disc of standards, interpretations, and one original, a hip, reflective homage dedicated to a deceased French dancer friend named Noelle. Hoffman's voice is seasoned and admittedly similar in phrasing to that of Carmen McRae. She honed her artistry over many years, coast hopping from Cambridge, MA, to California and then New York City. During this period she played folk guitar, became an accomplished mural painter, and a choral singer. Along the way she recruited the excellent pianist and arranger Oliver Von Essen, tenor saxophonist Jerry Weldon, and on four cuts for this effort, guitarist John Hart. Hoffman sounds better as the program moves along, especially on the ballads. Perhaps taking her time to enunciate properly is more to her advantage, as interpretations of "When Love Was All We Had" or the superior take of "Blackberry Winter," featuring Hart, readily displays. Another slow song "When Did You Leave Heaven?" showcases a melodic Weldon, Von Essen on organ and Don Militello on Fender Rhodes, making for interesting sonic contrasts. Her best swinger is the organ-driven take of "Sunday in New York," with Weldon at his swinging best. The singer is also fond of Brazilian rhythms, as heard on the upbeat version of "Gone with the Wind," at a similar pace as the samba-flavored, book-of -Billie Holiday (inexcusably spelled Billy in the notes) evergreen "You're My Thrill," and the light bossa "Yellow Days" with an inspired Hart. On the low end, Hoffman's perceptive imprecision shows up during McRae's famous lyrics on Thelonious Monk's "Well, You Needn't," and there are intonation problems during "Close Enough for Love." This is not a groundbreaking or ultimate recording for Hoffman, but her talent and compatibility with excellent sidemen is easy to enjoy. The third time should be the charm. ~Michael G. Nastos


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