Vocalist Sara DeLeo would have fit in nicely swinging with a big band in the ’40s or playing it cool with a hip little jazz combo in the ’60s.
Lucky for us, all her timeless qualities are brought to her music today. DeLeo’s second CD, I’m in Heaven Tonight, features several well-chosen selections from the American Songbook - "I Feel Pretty," "On the Street Where You Live," and "You’re Getting to be a Habit With Me." DeLeo performs each with tender care. Her fresh voice and precise diction carefully caress each word.
Despite her ability to evoke another era, the New York singer isn’t a retro act. She's a strong interpreter of old and new songs.
DeLeo turns Patricia Barber’s dark, moody "Let it Rain" into a softly swinging tune punctuated by horns. That’s followed by The White Stripes’ "In the Cold, Cold Night." DeLeo pushes the rock duo’s sparse and gritty song to its blues roots, and it works.
Another song deserving mention is the disc’s opener, "Rockin’ Robin." DeLeo injects plenty of cool attitude into the playful number.
Overall, the CD offers a strong mix of old and new songs, up tempo numbers and ballads.
No matter what genre DeLeo pulls from, she makes each song her own.