Dena Taylor has not received any gifts yet
Dena Taylor’s Certitude is 11 tracks of unpretentious, well-performed country inspired jazz. The songs are considered standards, but they emanate a rich southern flavor that isn’t often associated with a standard jazz tune. The album features Redd Volkaert (2009 Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance) and drummer Ernie Durawa (Gold Record Drummer of “The Sir Douglas Quintet” and “The Texas Tornados”). Both bring a unique perspective to the album, adding to its country influence.
Rather than give us a collection of standards, Dena gives us a cohesive album that flows from one track to the next. She has the experience to know how to please a listener with her voice, which is not unlike Carly Simon, especially in the tracks “I Thought About You” and “The Man I Love.” The simplicity of her performances showcases how control and poise can sometimes resonate stronger than over-the-top vocal performances.
She makes a strong emotional connection in “I Forget You Every Day” and the listener benefits from it. The amount of tremolo on the guitar in “One For My Baby (and One for the Road)” is a bit distracting, but otherwise the album’s production and mixing are incredibly good.
The instrumental performances cannot be ignored. They truly make this album an absolute must-have. In particular, the performance on “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars” by Matt Smith on guitar is too good to ignore. The performances on “Teach Me Tonight” are also noteworthy.
Dena features two duets on the album with Redd Volkaert in “Here We Go Again” and Matt Smith in “Teach Me Tonight”. Volkaert and Smith have solid vocal skills, but they’re outshined by their own guitar performances, and by Dena’s stronger, more experienced vocal command.
This album is a wonderful addition to any music library. This will easily be embraced by fans of jazz who wouldn’t mind a bit of country in their lives AND fans of country who wouldn’t mind a little jazz in theirs.