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Deanna Witkowski: Wide Open Window

Remember the name Deanna Witkowski. The 31-year-old New Yorker is not far from jazz stardom with her keyboard techniques, her mastery of exotic time signatures, her imaginative composing and arranging (much of her writing includes sacred music) and her wordless vocalizing. The latter is most impressive on Wide Open Window (Khaeon), her second CD as leader. The title tune is a blues-drenched jazz waltz, allowing for clever interplay between piano and Donny McCaslin’s tenor. She takes Cole Porter’s “From This Moment On” over a slow Latin beat, blending her voice with McCaslin’s soprano sax. The way-up samba “A Rare Appearance” blends wordless voice again, this time with tenor sax. Her blazing straightahead technique comes through on Porter’s “Just One of Those Things,” with great support from bassist Jonathan Paul and drummer Tom Hipskind. She cleverly fashions bookends from a Chopin etude for a solo version of “You and the Night and the Music,” and ends in a heavenly mood, singing “Sanctus,” from one of her jazz masses. Remember her name.

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