After more than a dozen albums to her name, Meredith d’Ambrosio has released her first CD made up entirely of her own material.
She wrote all the lyrics as well as music for more than half of the 13 songs on "Love is for the Birds." On the numbers that don’t feature her music, she penned stories for songs by Clifford Brown, Kenny Dorham, Harold Land and others.
The result is a warm, captivating CD filled with meditations of love.
For the most part, the songs swing gently with the musicians setting the pace and d’Ambrosio’s soft, lullaby voice setting the mood. She, however, doesn’t dominate. Instead, she uses her voice as one instrument in an ensemble. The other musicians all have opportunities to shine. They skillfully create a rich texture behind d’Ambrosio’s shy, thoughtful vocals.
A Renaissance woman, d’Ambrosio is also a talented painter. Check out the cover art. In some ways, "Love is for the Birds" is a painting with the musicians, particularly pianist Lee Musiker, contributing splashes of color where needed to create an overall impression. For example, Bob Kindred provides a flute solo on "Just a Dream (Falando De Orlando)," a song that d'Ambrosio wrote with Cape Cod and its winds in mind.
Highlights include the memorable title track. "Hope ever springs eternal/But life is passing by/ So in other words/ It finally occurs to me that love is for the birds," she sings wistfully. Like much of the album, it's a song that swings lightly.
Clifford Brown fans will be interested in the light touches she gives to his "Daahoud."
"Love is for the Birds" is recommended.