Dena Derose


CD Review from Newark Star Ledger

A Walk in the Park (MaxJazz)

Potent pianist and singer Dena DeRose, in her sixth CD, reveals her live-performance allure in songs recorded live at New York's Jazz Standard last March. Working with two modern-minded aces -- bassist Martin Wind and drummer Matt Wilson -- the similarly predisposed DeRose is both an astute vocalist and solid pianist, investigating seven standards and two originals from a traditional standpoint, and one more adventurous. "Speak Low" travels from a gets-things-started vocal to a lengthy piano solo, where the leader and Wilson often play in a conversational manner. At times, DeRose is a pure swinger, at others she stretches with edge. The softer vocal close is a deft answer to the previous robust happenings. "This is Love" is a tender Philippe Petrucciani bossa with DeRose delicately delivering her lyrics about lovers separated by distance; an alluring Wind exposition follows. On a medium-up tempo "It Could Happen to You," DeRose scats with acumen while playing the same notes on the keyboard. "Alone Together" is appropriately slow and bluesy. The top-drawer tenor man Joel Frahm is a welcome guest on "I Fall in Love Too Easily."

- Zan Stewart

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