Find a Heart (Savant Records Inc)

Denise Donatelli 

Released September 18, 2015

Grammy Nominee for Best Jazz Vocal Album 2016




Denise Donatelli is a mesmerizing jazz vocalist, in command of her expressive instrument while offering her heart and soul with each note. Joined by a company of Los Angeles jazz session players, Donatelli takes the forefront with style and panache, providing illuminating vocals that gently walk the line between energetic jazz-singing and luminous balladry. She accomplishes a warm balance with her singing, offering something for everyone. There is a thread of kind-heartedness and sincerity running throughout the diverse and unique set list, which allows a true sense of artistry to emerge at any tempo or dynamic level. Featuring the arranging talents of Geoffrey Keezer once again and the artistry of Brazilian guiartist Leonardo Amuedo, Jay Leno drummer Marvin “Smitty” Smith and others, Denise Donatelli delivers one elegantly beautiful jazz album.

Track Listing:

1. Big Noise, New York (Marcelle Clements / Donald Fagen) 6:17

2. Love and Paris Rain (Russell Ferrante / Will Kennedy / Brenda Russell) 5:26

3. Spaced Out (En Babia) (Geoffrey Keezer / Susan Marder) 4:23

4. Practical Arrangement (Rob Mathes / Gordon Sumner) 3:56

5. Find a Heart (David Crosby) 5:32

6. Not Like This (Jeremy Lubbock) 4:10

7. Eyes That Say I Love You 5:10

8. In This Moment (Billy Childs / Denise Donatelli / Susan Marder) 5:38

9. Troubled Child (Jonathan Cain / Steve Perry / Neal Schon) 5:31

10. Midnight Sun (Sonny Burke / Lionel Hampton / Johnny Mercer) 6:21

11. Day Dream (Duke Ellington / John Latouche / Billy Strayhorn) 5:35


Denise Donatelli: vocals

Geoffrey Keezer: piano

Leonardo Amuedo: guitar

Carlito Del Puerto: bass

Marvin “Smitty” Smith: drums

Walter Rodriquez: percussion (2, 4, 5, 8-10)

Chris Botti: trumpet (4)

Bob Sheppard: tenor saxophone (1)

Christine Jensen: soprano saxophone (2)

Michael Thompson; guitar

Giovanna Clayton; cello (2, 4, 8, 9)

Alma Fernandez: viola (2, 4, 8)

Matt Funes: viola (2, 4, 8)

Darrin McCann: viola (2, 4, 8)

Yutaka Yokokura: background vocals (1, 5)

Sy Smith: background vocals (2, 3, 5, 10)

Julia Dollison: background vocals (9)

Recorded at Tritone Recording Studio, Glendale, CA and Visual Rhythm Recording Studio, Alhambra, CA

Executive Peoducer: Denise Donatelli

Produced & Arranged by Geoffrey Keezer

Recorded by Talley Sherwood

Additional Recorded by Paul Johnston

Mixed by Carlos Del Rosario

Mastered by Paul Blakemore

Photography by Mikel Healey


Multi Grammy nominee vocalist Denise Donatelli, unveils another gem of an album with the much-anticipated Find A Heart, collaborating once again with producer/arranger, pianist Geoffrey Keezerdocumenting a surprisingly new direction for the singer as she ventures into the non-standards area. The Great American Songbook will always be with us, here to stay forever as new re-interpretations of classics emerge every day. This project finds the vocalist and pianist exploring new territory as they take the music of modern pop and jazz masters like Sting, David Crosby and Russell Ferrante among others, and ask the question, Isn’t it time for new standards? 
One thing clearly evident on this album is, the superb cast of players that make the instrumentation such a pleasure to hear which features an all-star personnel listing that includes Brazilian guitarist Leonardo Amuedo, Cuban bassist Carlitos del Puerto, drummer Marvin “Smitty” Smith and Canadian saxophonist Christine Jensen among them. The evolution of The Great American Songbook begins with the Donald Fagen composition “Big Noise, New York” featuring an opening blast from saxophonist great Bob Sheppard before the sparkling vocals of the leader take over on what is a burning beginning to a heck of an album. 

The singer finds her softer side on Ferrante’s beautiful love ballad, “Love and Paris Rain” with a little help from guitarist Amuedo then jumps into a lively tempo on Keezer’s own “Spaced Out (En Babia)” before returning to a gentler mood on the absolutely gorgeous “Practical Arrangement” accompanied by the magic horn of Chris Botti and the soft guitar work from Amuedo. Keezer’s arrangement of the Crosby title track, turns this pop tune into a true jazz number with a touch of the Latin flavor. 
Keezer and Donatelli draw on a small string section of cello and violas to convey the trials and tribulations of a “Troubled Child” and call on bassist del Puerto and percussionist Walter Rodriguez to weigh in with brisk haunting solos as the singer’s crisp voice reaches and beckons the child with a little help of background vocalists Yutaka Yokokura, and Julia Dollison. 
Interestingly enough, while the mission of this venture is still, to offer different songs from more recent times as possible new standards for the future, Donatelli closes the album with heartfelt emotion paying humble respect to current standards with superior renditions of “Midnight Sun,” and Billy Strayhorn’s “Day Dream.” Find A Heart is simply put, an outstanding vocal recording that takes Denise Donatelli’s performance to another level.

Edward Blanco (All About Jazz)