Down Beat (p.72) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Wind and Wilson pull and push DeRose to the summit, stoking her penchant for edgy passion and rolling two-fisted climaxes with rare dynamism."
JazzTimes (p.128) - "[This set] places the listener at the best table in the house....Know you're savoring the denseness of flavor, the impeccable taste, that only maturity can bring."
Personnel: Dena DeRose (vocals, piano); Dena DeRose; Martin Wind (upright bass); Joel Frahm (tenor saxophone); Matt Wilson (drums).
Audio Mixer: Katsuhiko Naito.
Liner Note Author: Dena DeRose.
Recording information: Jazz Standard, New York, NY (03/01/2007-03/03/2007).
Arranger: Dena DeRose.
There have been a number of singing jazz pianists over the years, yet most have been stronger in one area or the other. Dena DeRose was a pianist first and took up singing only after a hand injury sidelined her from playing for a time. But she is the real deal, able to bring out the best in the music and lyrics to any given piece. Her snappy take of the standard "Speak Low" features her assertive playing, along with a bit of soft scat as she winds up the piece. DeRose wrote the lyrics to Philippe Petrucciani's haunting ballad "This Is Love," a challenging piece that also showcases bassist Martin Wind. Cole Porter's "Get out of Town" seems like a song in danger of overexposure, yet the pianist's amusing approach includes her dark extended vamp and Matt Wilson's unusual percussion line in the introduction. She proves captivating in her solo feature, the bittersweet ballad "A Table Set for Solitude." Her bluesy arrangement of "Alone Together" and delicate bossa nova treatment of "On Green Dolphin Street" also shine. Tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm is added for "I Fall in Love Too Easily," providing an emotional foil for her moving vocal. For DeRose's jaunty take of "Lover," she shows off a bit of playful stride piano before switching to the more familiar jazz waltz setting. ~ Ken Dryden