You are here:Home>CD Reviews>Straight-Ahead - CD Reviews>What’s Your Story by Roberta Donnay

What’s Your Story by Roberta Donnay

Torchlight jazz has a very fine wag to its strolling gait when singer Roberta Donnay comes on board its trolley. From a bluesy soul temperament in "Put It Where You Want It" to a snappy locomotion in "Devil May Care" and a slow drooling strut in "Stop This Train," Donnay shows classic jazz chops relatable to Stevie Holland and smooth blues intonations liken to Deborah Latz. Her timbres are elegantly gloved in a debonair mist while moving with a cool fluidity. The seductive purrs in her voice form images in the listeners mind of a woman craving for love but reluctant to give her heart again to another after experiencing the harsh cuts made by its arrows and slingshots. Tunes like "Small Day Tomorrow" and "Drinkin’ Again" display Donnay’s femininely toned wailing and howls beautifully. Like a cat whose trust must be won over, Roberta Donnay has a flirtatious lisp in her voicing that teases with a come hither slink as she tippy toes carefully across the melodic folds.

Sometimes sounding peppy and optimistic like in "Stop This Train" and sometimes feeling ragged and worn down like in "Life In The Slow Lane," Donnay projects an array of emotions that cause passengers to seesaw between going up and feeling down but no matter which one she plays out, it is done with an intrinsic attachment to the portrayal. There is a medicinal effect in the music like in "Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin’" which opens the wounds and lets them feel exposed to human touch. Donnay sings about such human vulnerability with understanding and compassion, like she’s been there and done that before and knows relief is just around the corner. The upbeat clefts of "If You Live" show attitude in the body’s natural movements and the bluesy hobbles of "Blue Monk" have legs wounded at the knees.

Roberta Donnay’s vocals wind around the melodic clefts and summits with a soulful clenching and expressive pitch that is agreeable with torchlight jazz. Produced by Orrin Keepnews, What’s Your Story allows for moments to be alone with your pensive thoughts and to give yourself some necessary pep talking. She exudes feelings of sorrow and a touch attitude with an ardent grip on both. She may not be afraid to show vulnerability, but she won’t suppress her toughness which she uses to stop the bleeding. Her portrayals of a woman’s soul are archetypal and sound perfect framed in torchlight jazz.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Roberta Donnay
  • CD Title: What’s Your Story
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Pacific Coast Jazz Records
  • Tracks: What’s Your Story Morning Glory, No Regrets, Put It Where You Want It, Small Day Tomorrow, Stop This Train, Devil May Care, Life In The Slow Lane, Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin’, If You Live, Drinkin’ Again, Blue Monk (Monkey’s The Blues), Dindi
  • Musicians: Roberta Donnay (vocals), Eric Reed (piano), Gerald Cannon (bass), Mark Taylor (drums), Dave Ellis (tenor saxophone)
  • Rating: Three Stars
Login to post comments