March 1999

Meredith D'Ambrosio
Echo of a Kiss
Sunnyside

Despite her 12 superb Sunnyside CDs, the wider audience for singers may be unprepared for Ms. D'Ambrosio's musicality and understatement. Her albums sell consistently, but modestly. Here is the serious listener's latest opportunity to be drawn into the art of a woman who puts emotion, literacy, and wit into vocal collections of substance and long-term value.

The selections in Echo of a Kiss are typical of her interests, which send her ranging through many eras, many styles and her own creativity. Among them are two of her charming paraphrase songs, "Beautiful Love"/"Gorgeous Creature" and "Chance With a Ghost"/"I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You." She performs her compositions "Without Reason, Without Rhyme," "Once Upon a Full Moon Night," "Why Do I Still Dream of You?" and "Where Were You at Christmas?" With perfect phrasing and intonation, her low voice addresses standards including "When Lights Are Low," "April Fooled Me" and "My Romance." She sings lyrics to Bill Evans' "Blue in Green," and "Time Remembered," Claude Thornhill's "Snowfall," Duke Ellington's "Black Butterfly" and Denny Zeitlin's "Echo of a Kiss.'

She does those songs in tune, in time and intelligently. She interprets them in her lovely bel canto way, achieving the difficult balance between jazz values and the intentions of the song writers. When Ms. D'Ambrosio is at her best, which is 98.7 percent of the time, she is a singer not to be missed.

Originally published in March 1999
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