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Play It Cool by Lea DeLaria

I have been a great fan of Lea DeLaria's comic work for years and am pleased to say her musical talents are even more impressive. Her debut release, "Play it Cool" showcases her impeccable intonation and phrasing as well as the arranging talents of pianists Larry Golding and Gil Goldstein. Taking off on a unique tune list, they have abandoned the Torch Song/My Man Done Me Wrong format for tunes with a more sophisticated and life affirming Lyric content. Proving once again that anything goes in Jazz as long as it swings, Ms. DeLaria has chosen some Broadway nuggets including Steven Sondheim's "Losing My Mind" and " The Ballad of Sweeney Todd". There is a slow, burning rendition of Leonard Bernstein's "Cool" from West Side Story and two tunes by Cy Coleman including "I've Got Your Number" and a gorgeous sultry rendition of "With Every Breath I Take". She has also chosen a Tom Waits tune, "Straight To The Top" and Randy Newman's anthem to positive thinking, "Life Has Been Good To Me". Gil Goldstein has done arrangements for a 6 horn lineup which includes Bob Steward on Tuba and Tom Varner on French Horn. Larry Grenadier on bass and Gregory Hutchinson on drums lay down a sweet groove.

This is a carefully crafted and perfectly executed gem that never misses a beat. You can hear Sarah and Ella clearly in DeLaria's elegant, and soulful performance as she stays strong in the Jazz tradition yet is creatively forging her own style. With her heart stopping low register and playful, relaxed delivery, Lea DeLaria has added to the Jazz songbook and created some new standards with her "Play It Cool". She is a multi-faceted performer who surely will evolve in many different directions but I believe she has the talent, heart and musical intelligence to become one of the truly great Jazz Vocal Artists.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Lea DeLaria
  • CD Title: Play It Cool
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: Warner Bros.
  • Rating: Five Stars
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