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| 3 November 2016 | Reply


Label: Big Fish Records

Release Date: September 9, 2016

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

While not big on rock sound, the latest release from Deana Martin – Swing Street – rocks and swings as only she can.  Listening to the follow-up to a favorite of mine, Destination Moon, was a fun ride through Deana’s musical influences and loves, enjoying her moving in a slightly different direction without losing who she is as an artist and performer.  Disc opener “52nd & Broadway” comes out with a cool piano intro that is quickly joined by the sweet sounds of Deana Martin’s vocals, in a slightly different sound than I am accustomed to, but quickly grows on me.  “I’ve Been Around” is one of five original tracks written for the disc and this song blends the cool jazz tones in Martin’s vocals with a swing vibe that permeates the track, thanks to the musical accompaniment.  “That’s Life” is a classic that gets the star treatment on this release.  With all due respect to Deana’s ‘Uncle Frank’ this is a smoky version that is as much a tribute to the original as it is a reworking that deserves its own time in the spotlight.  Martin really takes it to the next level with this version.  “I Know What You Are” is a different track that delivers a different vibe and groove than others on the disc and seems to lean heavier into the jazz department than swing.  “Bellissima” is all swing, all fun, and all Deana.  The ‘new’ lyrics pulled together by Martin are cool and even toss in a fun nod to a track from her legendary father’s catalog.  The rhythm of this tune is infectious and gets the foot tapping.    Disc closer “Who’s Got The Action” takes us out on a swing vibe that helps tie together the disc and the various styles presented.  The vocals are fun and spirited, the arrangement and orchestration poppy, and the overall vibe sweet.

“Spooky” is an interesting cover, in that it throws a sultry vocal and dark jazz vibe at the late 60’s track that has been covered quite a bit over the years, but not typically in this style or with this approach.  “Bye Bye Blackbird” is a jazz standard rooted in the 1920’s that has been given treatment by dozens of musicians over the years, but this version is special as Deana’s vocal seem to take on a quality and tone that quickly ties her sound to that of her father, who also covered this track in his day.  “Good Things Grow” slows the pace of the disc down a bit on this original written for the collection.  The orchestration and arrangement ties perfectly to the lyrics and their vocal delivery.  “Quando, Quando, Quando” brings a classic feel to the disc, with a song that has received Italian and English treatment over the years, but Martin’s version has a smoldering groove to it that helps set it apart from other renditions that have seen the light of day over the years.  “Georgia On My Mind” is one of the best surprises on the disc.  Listening to this classic re-spun as a jazz / swing standard allows Deana’s interpretation to stand on its own without comparison to other versions.  The musical counterpart to the vocals is perfect and the two come together sweetly.

“Hearing Ella Sing” is yet another original pulled together for this disc.  The swing / jazz blend that is woven through the tracks orchestration gives Martin the perfect resting spot for her vocals that pay tribute not only to Ms. Fitzgerald, but also those that have performed with her over the years.  “New York State Of Mind” is another song that takes a well-known track and puts a different spin on it.  This version is as fun as the original, but in a different way.  Listening to the horns and orchestration seems to take this song in a different direction, but still aligns itself with the original.  While listening to this track, I can’t help but wonder what a duet featuring Deana and the songs composer Billy Joel might sound like.  Another track made famous by Sinatra, “Strangers In The Night” comes along and gets special treatment.  The tempo is sped up a bit, but this fits the mood and vibe of the disc while keeping the groove of the original alive.  “Tennessee Whiskey” is one of the best surprises on the disc.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first saw this song on the track list.  This song shows us a different side of Martin – and I like it.  The vocals, while classic in tone and approach, have a different mood and delivery than most of the songs in her catalog.  We can only hope she keeps looking for more tracks like this that give her room to run vocally.  While different from Deana’s previous releases, this is sure to be a welcome addition to the musical collection of anyone willing to grab a copy for themselves.

Tracklisting: 52nd & Broadway – I’ve Been Around – Spooky – Hearing Ella Sing – That’s Life – Bye Bye Blackbird – New York State Of Mind – Good Things Grow – I Know What You Are – Quando, Quando, Quando – Strangers In The Night – Bellissima – Georgia On My Mind – Tennessee Whiskey – Who’s Got The Action






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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