Recording information: Converse Rubber Tracks; Jmotone Studios.
Photographer: Whitney Thomas.
Donn T made 2010's Kaleidoscopic with English producer Simbad, who brought broken beat, house, and left of center hip-hop flavors to the album. Released almost five years later and rather different, Flight of the Donn T was created by the singer, songwriter, and producer -- the sister of the Roots' Questlove -- primarily with husband and multi-instrumentalist Jake Morelli. While Kaleidoscopic was a fine album, this one has a warmer, freer spirit to it, and the sound palette is greater in area by a factor of at least three. Donn's voice, somehow sinewy and lithe at once, seems more at home in this variety of relatively organic backdrops. If it wasn't for some background vocal overdubbing and minor treatments, "What's Beautiful" -- where Donn is supported only by sparse acoustic guitar and melodic bass -- would sound like it was recorded in a small apartment. Even though Donn gets a deluxe and rocking retro-soul fitting for "Viva," she gets her feeling across in an equally direct manner. Whether in front of flickering electronics or churning guitar, Donn's voice exudes warmth and wisdom. Also credit the artist for doing her part to keep the art of the intra-song monologue alive, as heard in "Midnight." ~ Andy Kellman