Thursday, March 25, 2010
Vocalist Peggy Duquesnel has Taste and Artistry
Jazz vocalists can make me grumpy. I get sent a fair number of new releases by such artists, and I must say it is the one category where the misses outweigh the hits by a good margin. Sometimes I can tell within about 30 seconds whether or not this person has any business getting behind a microphone; sometimes it takes a longer time. If they make it through the first listen, I usually keep on going.
Ms. Peggy Duquesnel made it through the first listen and four more. That is, her Summertime Lullaby album did, which will be out April 5th on Joyspring Music.
Why is Peggy D. worth your earful? She has a pretty, well developed set of vocal pipes, for one thing. Pitch control and phrasing are right where they should be. She writes some nice tunes, like the title cut. And her choice of standards suite her own vocal style. There are quite good versions of "The Days of Wine and Roses," and "Stay as Sweet as You Are," for example. Another thing: she plays a very decent piano, sometimes striding along, sometimes in a neo-swing style. She performs a few numbers for piano alone and they offer very pleasant going. And then there's Peggy's small band and her arrangements. They are fully integrated into the presentation and it all hits home. Guitarists Grant Geissman and Mike Higgins add some very good work, in solos, comping and in ensemble.
Peggy Duquesnel comes up with a winner in Summertime Lullaby. It has all the makings of a full throttle kicker for you, the listener. There's enough for the sophisticated listener to maintain interest, and yet it should be well received by the general pool of folks who want something enjoyable to hear in the course of their leisure and relaxation.