Donna Greenberg, Mav’rik
Toronto-based jazz singer/songwriter Donna Greenberg’s second release, Mav’rik exudes hopeless romantic. Whether it is a cry for forbidden lust, eternal love or someone just having their heart stomped on, she freely expresses it with the kind of music associated with a 20th Century credits roll. I don’t mean that as a back-handed compliment either. Greenberg and arranger Jordan Klapman have really thought about what songs fit with what style of music and they cover quite a diverse range here.
The elegant tango “The Language Of Love” begins our exploration of the Jazz songbook and features some classy solos courtesy of her flawless backing band which consists of Tom Skublics (flute), Tony Quarrington (acoustic guitar) and Jon Seiger (trumpet). This is followed up with the cheeky “You’re My Summer Peach” an edited duet with the legendary Louis Armstrong. Other knockouts include, the smokin’ salsa “La Nina de Rosa”, the soft blues “I Just Wanna Cry” and the Bossa Nova inspired “My Tearless Grief”.
Unfortunately, there are a few sore spots that I can’t overlook; The somber Celtic ballad “Nature’s Glory” falls flat as third track in while the bluesy gospel “Praise Be” and the corny country ditty “Old Country Road” are a stretch for Greenberg’s range as a singer. Thankfully, she gets back to her jazz roots and the rest of the album is just as enjoyable as the first half and ends with the beautiful lullaby “Berceuse”.
Besides the mid-album lull, Mav’rik is an exploration of jazz that crosses genres, four different languages and made up of completely original material from a very talented and fresh artist. (Independent)
Rating: 3/5 Stars