Dena DeRose is a 34 year old pianist/vocalist and a native of Binghamton, NY. She now calls New York City home. Dena began picking out tunes with one finger on a chord organ at the tender age of three. Having played in school bands and rock groups, she discovered the legendary pianist Red Garland and a love affair with jazz began. By her mid 20s, Dena had been influenced by other pianists and practiced incessantly until the pain in her hands became unbearable. Surgery was required and between the ages of 22 to 25, she was unable to play and escaped into the world of singing. By 1991, Dena had recovered her instrumental abilities and moved to New York and the club scene where she blossomed.
Her new CD finds DeRose firmly planted within the company of some of New York's finest musicians and playing an eclectic mix of old and new material by an international group of composers. I especially liked Dena's own tune titled "With a Smile" and featuring vibraphonist Joe Locke with Joel Frahm on soprano sax. Hopefully, Ms. DeRose will continue with her efforts in the song-writing field.
The singer/pianist shines on every track and the listener becomes firmly convinced that Dena is enjoying her work and exudes joy with every note. "Day In, Day Out" by Johnny Mercer and Rube Bloom is taken at a furious tempo and features delightful interchanges between piano, sax and drums. Please visit Sharp Nine's web page for a complete list of tracks.
This album is highly recommended.