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I’m In Heaven Tonight by Sarah DeLeo

The old saying "Flaunt it if you’ve got it" has been passed on from generation to generation, and it certainly rings true for jazz vocalist Sarah DeLeo who has definitely got it and, she flaunts it on her sophomore release I’m In Heaven Tonight. Produced by DeLeo and Brian Charette, the album pays homage to the spellbinding lure that jazz standards have one people. DeLeo’s interpretation of such standards as "Rockin’ Robin" and "I Feel Pretty" have a contemporary bite that seeps into the bloodlines of these tunes ancestral roots making them tight descendants. DeLeo sounds like her album is on a mission to preserve jazz as she modulates her voice in smoothly poised ringlets liken to Peggy Lee and heated coils reminiscent of Nina Simone.

DeLeo’s talents include demonstrating immense sensitivity as she acclimates to the mood of songs and moves harmoniously with the slow rises and declines traipsing through the melodies like in the ballad "You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me." She twitters energetically across the throng of vaunting movements in "Rockin’ Robin," and turns to soft caresses through the torchlight atmospherics of "No Moon At All" featuring the smooth Latin grooves of Mark Bordenet in the percussive beats. "I Feel Pretty" has the cheery showtunes glee of Guys And Dolls and vocal theatrics which give the tune a life-sized character. Pianist David Cook injects the title track with fluid wavelets and switches to a sparsely majestic flare in "I’m In Heaven Tonight." The pensive strokes of DeLeo’s vocals glide across the melodic planks of "Let It Rain" as if the song was created from her lips and made as a panacea for her soul. The pumping beats of "On The Street Where You Live" pulses at a vigorous heart rate, and the sassy purr in her vocals in "Stolen Moments" bode well with the tune’s finger-snapping rhythm. DeLeo’s exhalations and inhalations have a smooth palpitation fueling the heath beneath "In The Cold, Cold Night," and the statuesque curves of her vocals in "Sometimes I’m Happy" cloak the tune in satisfying warmth.

DeLeo shows a breadth of freedom in her interpretations and a steady control, which enables her to bend the melodies to her will. Graduating from Barnard where she was an American Studies major, DeLeo’s foray into jazz began with ad-hoc performances beside seasoned professionals. These colleagues provided her guidance in her own solo work, which led to the making of her debut album The Nearness Of You. Sarah DeLeo’s life seems to be made up of dreams, each one coming to life after being conceived and all made to fit her.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Sarah DeLeo
  • CD Title: I’m In Heaven Tonight
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Sweet Sassy Music
  • Tracks: Rockin’ Robbin, I Feel Pretty, I’m In Heaven Tonight, No Moon At All On The Street Where You Live, Stolen Moments, Let It Rain, In The Cold Cold Night, Sometimes I’m Happy, You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me
  • Musicians: Sarah DeLeo - vocals, Chris Bergson - guitar, Mark Bordenet - percussion, Brian Charette - organ, Jay Collins - saxophones and flute, David Cooke - piano, Fabio Morgero -trumpet, and Gary Wong - bass
  • Rating: Three Stars
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