A lot of things have changed in this titular switcharound from 'The Doug Richards Trio featuring Donna Singer' to 'Donna Singer featuring The Doug Richards Trio'. For one, the problems I noted in Jazz in the Living Room (here) are completely rectified. All players and the singer are well balanced. This brings out the trio's strengths significantly, well over the last CD. One can hear the bass clearly, the drums sit where they should, and Billy Alfred's pianistics gain a whole new dimension, sandwiched warmly amid all. I can't say what occasioned that, as Roy Singer was engineer there and here, but Destiny is quite a good deal more palatable.
The Vegas vibe went by the boards too, now more colorful in a nightclub ambiance, not in Las but in NYC. I'll have to, though, register the same criticism that was dominant last time around: this band really needs to go straight trio, and no cut shows that better than I'll Remember April. When the lads get going on that groove is when the true mettle of Destiny: Moment of Jazz emerges. Elsewhere, a bad note is hit, I have to say, with the inclusion of Jeff Otis' guitar solo on Time After Time, WAY out of timbre (repeated on I Believe I can Fly, accompanied by an uncredited synthesizer or else guitar outboards imitating keyboards…from the back alley), though the inclusion of Nancy Wegrzyn on viola was rather nice, fleshing out the edges when she appears.
What a Difference a Day Makes is perhaps Singer's best showcase, but many of the songs in Destiny's encantations betray a sense of inconfidence both in choices made and overall celerity, nor are a good deal of the New Age lyrics particularly attractive, more the kind of arena-show / TV anthemics one expects in place of the grit and grace jazz usually demonstrates. As before, Singer demonstrates a wealth of devices and well exposed passages, but they're rarely integrated or sustained because she hasn't hit The Zone yet.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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