Love Story - Reviews - Listen/Buy

Review by Marke Andrews - March 16, 2000

In a city full of fine female jazz vocalists, Vancouver's Dee Daniels has her own place of honour. Self-assured and sensual, her golden timbre lends itself easily to ballads, but she can also swing hard if called upon.

She does both on Love Story, a collection of 10 standards, each of which represents a facet of love. Opening with Skylark, Daniels uses vibrato to good effect, laying out a melody that is embellished by the tenor lines of guest saxophonist Houston Person. On Let's Fall In Love, she phrases a bit ahead, then a bit behind the swing groove laid down by pianist Miles Black, bassist Darren Radtke and drummer Blaine Wikjord, at one point turning the word "fall" into a three-syllable utterance, and delivering a line of the bridge in descending notes, like a vocal elevator sliding past floors. Special mention goes to Black for his sensitive piano accompaniment.


Review by Marvin Lake - February 11, 2000

The Virginian-Pilot February 11, 2000 Review by Marvin Lake Dee Daniels’ indie release "Love Story" arrives just in time for Valentine’s Day. The concept album finds the Vancouver native in fine form as she recounts the ups and downs of love via 10 evergreens.

Backed by a quartet featuring tenor saxophonist Houston Person, Daniels’ warm, four-octave singing embraces the full range of emotions - from longing and ful˘llment to disillusionment and wisdom.

Daniels shines on ballads. Check out "Skylark," on which Person’s long, bluesy, mid-track solo slides over a soft pallet laid down by bassist Darren Radtke, pianist Miles Black and drummer Blaine Wikjord. Daniels’ lazy, rich tones convey true longing.

Her plaintive reading of "I Could Have Danced All Night" is slower than most, and features an odd vocal-saxophone interplay on the words in the title.

Daniels’ can swing, too, as evidenced by her sure-footed approach to "Let’s Fall In Love" and "There’ll Be Some Changes Made."


Review by John Goodman - December 3, 1999

There’s a certain risk involved in taking on the standard repertoire but Daniels’ fresh interpretations are more than up to the task.

Review by Ron Rogers - November 29, 1999

Given the overwhelming success of Diana Krall in the last year or two, it would only make sense for some of the other majors to start scanning the country for some other jazz crooners. And if they’re looking (and I know they are), then they might want to take a chance on this Vancouver native.

This indie release, recorded and mixed at Vancouver’s Blue Wave Studios by Perry Barrett, features Daniels covering a variety of crooning classics, all of which are sure to be known by serious jazz fans. This is actually a concept album, detailing the ups and downs of love and relationships. As Daniels herself says in the liner notes, “Every love story shares certain things... melancholy... There are as many great songs about love as there are adjectives to describe the feeling.” So Daniels has put together ten songs which cover the gamut of emotions, all of them done beautifully by Daniels and her quartet. The band consists of pianist Miles Black, bassist Darren Radtke, drummer Blaine Wikjord and saxophonist Houston Person, who provides simple, yet appropriate backing for Daniels powerful vocal presence.

First there’s longing, epitomized here with the Hoagy Carmichael/Johnny Mercer classic Skylark, which is followed by the Lerner/Lowe song I Could Have Danced All Night, symbolizing that initial captivation. After Tenderly, there's a terrific cover of Koehler and Arlen’s Let’s Fall In Love, followed by Rogers and Hart’s My Romance. Of course, in any love affair, there’s always going to be trouble, or in Daniels’ case, disillusionment, symbolized here in the sombre The Masquerade Is Over. Cole Porter’s What Is This Thing Called Love? is given special treatment, as is the very sad I’ll Be Seeing You. Daniels has obviously had some serious training, and is comfortable covering every emotional note, from sheer bliss to downright sorrow.

Her voice is strong and full, and eminently capable of providing the soul and vibe needed to bring these songs additional potency. That’s obvious on the album’s final track, the classic That’s Life, one of Sinatra’s favourites, which provides a fitting conclusion to this set.


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