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Album Review

Superior song stylist Meredith d'Ambrosio continues her love affair with the American popular song with her special "let's do it gently" singing style on this, her eighth album for the Sunnyside label. This time around, d'Ambrosio has selected a play list dominated by her material, plus a few standards. Her songs are often astutely coupled as a medley with a better-known standard of similar vein, such as "You Leave Me Breathless" with her "A Breath of Spring." Of the originals, "In My Uncertain World" stands out for its beguiling simplicity, for the melodic upper end of the keyboard right-hand maneuvers by Eddie Higgins and the presence of master bassist Jay Leonhart. d'Ambrosio makes a rare visit to one of the favorite encores at a classical violin recital in "Zigeuner." In fact, Johnny Frigo takes a medium length solo, not quite as gypsy-tinged as one might hear it in a classical music hall. Then there is the d'Ambrosio copyrighted recitation-like vocalese on such tunes as "You've Changed," "Alone Together," and especially "Fools Rush In." She is so adept, so natural at this, that if this were her regular conversational mode, it wouldn't seem out of place at all. Irrespective of what she's singing and how she is doing it, everything stays softly modulated and comfortable within the semi-pensive state created by her unblemished, low, smooth as slowly flowing syrup voice. The presence of such "mood" instruments as cello, bass clarinet, and violin, coupled with the play list, help make this somewhat of a sentimental session. It is another facet of d'Ambrosio's singing that keeps her high up on the list of contemporary jazz singers.


Born: 1941 in Boston, MA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A soft-toned singer whose intelligent interpretation of lyrics is always thoughtful, Meredith d'Ambrosio is also an effective accompanist as a pianist. Her father sang with big bands, while her mother played piano in nightclubs. At age six, d'Ambrosio began to study piano and sing. After graduating from high school and attending the Boston Museum School (1958-1959), she was a professional musician in addition to being a painter. In 1966, she was invited by John Coltrane to be part of his Japanese...
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Shadowland, Meredith d'Ambrosio
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