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Joseph de Dominicis Songs: Volume One

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Album Review

Native New Yorker Joseph de Dominicis has penned the words and music to 14 songs sympathetically presented by vocal/pianist Gloria Cooper. This album is Volume 1 of a planned 2-Volume series. It's apparent Dominicis has absorbed the music of notable contributors to the Great American Songbook, such as Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, and most of all Alec Wilder. Regrettably none of his tunes reach the same high level. His lyrics are intelligent, interesting and occasionally humorous, but not memorable. There's a story to each song, usually sad. One exception is "The New Yorker" which cleverly describes a "Big Apple" denizen (sounds like Thelonious Monk) by "his dervish dance," "his bemsha swing." The lyrics for "We Can Do It (If We Want to Do It)" are disconcerting. They consist of the title, repeated 14 times. Perhaps this was intended to be a parody of a rap tune There is also very little variety when it comes to the beat. Most of the songs are written and delivered by Ms Cooper, in medium tempo, as if they were composed with Bobby Short in mind, much less the pop style of the '50s. Doing an album entirely made up of unfamiliar material with just piano and voice is a difficult task. Gloria Cooper deserves kudos for taking on a difficult task achieving credible results. The lyrics are included in the liner notes.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Gloria Cooper came to New York City via the Midwest and San Francisco and has been working in the "Big Apple" for over 10 years. She has Bachelors and Master Degrees in Music from the University of Columbia, Missouri. Inspired by such diverse styles as Erroll Garner, Red Garland and Wynton Kelly, Cooper started out as strictly a jazz pianist. She has since taken up vocalizing adding another dimension to her repertoire. By doing so, she joins a list of similarly-minded performers such as Shirley Horn,...
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Joseph de Dominicis Songs: Volume One, Gloria Cooper
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