Friday, March 21, 2014

Look What Love Found (Album Review: Barbra Levy Daniels, Love Lost & Found)

Barbara Levy Daniels had been working as a psychotherapist when she started to pursue singing again. As a child, she auditioned for ABC Paramount Records and when they called in Ray Charles to hear her sing, he apparently said "Sign her!" but for one reason or another, and probably because of her age, she never pursued a singing career at the time. This new album of her - apparently her third - mines old chestnuts from the Great American Songbook, and that initially sparked a yawn from me. But, Levy Daniels has an engaging tone in her voice. It sounds like a woman "of a certain age," and I am reminded of mid to late work from singers like Carol Sloane, or Barbara Lea. For me, there's nothing more expressive than a woman singing about these songs of love, and you can feel the experience in her voice, in her interpretation. This woman has lived the life, and it sounds like it. On "Talk Of The Town," for example, you can sense the desolation, the regret, the stilled hopefulness. On "the Nearness Of You," there's longing in each phrase, in each word, in each sentence. I even like that she has a bit of Northeastern accent (Buffalo, New York, as it turns out) making this woman singing these songs so specific.  On "I Got Lost In His Arms," when she sings the last phrase, "I was lost, but look what I found," you immediately see the story of the song, specifically of this woman's journey.

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