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Dance Delicioso by Chris McNulty

Singer Chris McNulty's latest disc Dance Delicioso is indeed the tasty treat the title promises. The recipe is simple: start with equal parts originals and standards, sprinkle great musicians liberally and top with McNulty's rich vocals. Voilà--a fine vocal jazz creation that stands out even in a relatively competitive era for such recordings.

Dance Delicoso features five McNulty originals (one of which reprised at the end) and five covers. These range from familiar jazz warhorses by the likes of Cole Porter and Bobby Troup to the contemporary pop of Annie Lennox and a truly enchanting rendering of the traditional Celtic ballad "He Moved Through The Fair" (sometimes "She..." depending on the gender of the singer). McNulty's own writing reflects this wide range of influences, combining a contemporary sensibility with solid structure and poetic lyrics.

At the heart of the album is a solid rhythm section featuring the great drummer Billy Hart, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and guitarist Paul Bollenback. A variety of fine musicians variously guest on the other tracks. The piano chair is alternately filled by Mulgrew Miller, David Budway and John Di Martino, while saxophonists include the venerable Gary Bartz, Gary Thomas and Dave Pietro. An all-star group, but they fill their role as sideman very nicely here.

Chris McNulty sings expressively with a nice, slightly nasal tone (think Barbara Streisand and not Bob Dylan). On the title track and "Roamin," she intones some very pretty vocalese. With Dance Delicioso she presents listeners with a fine and well-balanced offering.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Chris McNulty
  • CD Title: Dance Delicioso
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Elefant Dreams
  • Rating: Four Stars
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