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Feel the Rhythm, Daria
Female jazz vocal is a genre that is admittedly underrepresented in my music collection, but I recently encountered a CD by Daria called Feel the Rhythm, and was very impressed. Daria has been making music in the San Francisco Bay area since 1997, when her first CD, Just the Beginning, was released. This time, she has brought some very respected names into the studio. Musicians such as master percussionist Alex Acuña, Brazilian guitarist José Neto, and former Yellowjackets Marc Russo and William Kennedy add dynamic flare to this colorful set of standards and original compositions.
Daria weaves her vocal style over musical arrangements performed by a rhythm section of percussion, electric keyboards, and bass. Her voice is clear and flavorful, like a prized Zinfandel from the Napa Valley. She has a good command of vibrato and scatting, and dispenses them tastefully through these songs like musical seasoning. Several tracks stood out for me. The upbeat "Turn Around" grooves with a Latin tinge of trombone and an Afro-Cuban structure. The lights dim for a slow, simmering arrangement of Cream’s "Sunshine of Your Love." Then Daria sings the lovely "Luiza" by Antonio Carlos Jobim in Portugese, accompanied by the sentimental sound of a string quartet. Finally, Stevie Wonder’s "Don’t You Worry" is given a full, funky workout that sounds like it was as much fun to record as it is to listen to. The CD is well recorded, with a punchy bottom end and just the right amount of light on Daria’s voice. Feel the Rhythm offers a high level of musical achievement from an artist who continues to grow. Three out of four stars. Victor Chavira