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Donna Deussen & The Paul Weitz Trio

Gary Walker

Recording artists Donna Deussen (vocals) and Paul Weitz (guitar) have been performing together for the past few years throughout the Southern California area, during which time they have developed unique arrangements of jazz and pop tunes, for both duo and full band settings. The result of their energies is their exciting new CD, “On The Street Where You Live.”

Donna Deussen’s singing has been praised by John Gilbert of EJazzNews: “her phrasing is impeccable, her tone is clear, and is a joy to the ear of the discerning listener.” A magna cum laude graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Donna moved to the west coast after college, and has performed in venues all over California and Arizona. She also works as a session singer and vocal coach. Her highly acclaimed debut CD, “High Wire” featured Chick Corea’s saxophonist Eric Marienthal.

Paul Weitz originally hails from Buffalo, NY, and has been a professional musician for over 30 years. Scott Yanow of L.A. Jazz Scene says, “Paul Weitz is a superior bop-based guitarist with a concept all his own.” Paul regularly performs throughout the Los Angeles area, and his debut CD “The Paul Weitz Trio” garnered favorable reviews and air play on jazz radio stations all over the world.

Reviews of “On The Street Where You Live”

“…”California Dreaming” gives Donna Deussen an opportunity to display her range, power and improvising skills (she fearlessly trades off with Wayne).The menacing strut “Do Wrong Shoes” is succeeded by an uptempo “On The Street Where You Live” which starts off as an unaccompanied vocal, gets hotter as it goes, and has an inspired arrangement that keeps one guessing. On this selection as throughout the set, it is clear that the musicians are having a great time, coming up with fresh ways to play familiar songs. “Black Coffee” and “A Night In Tunisia” are combined together in an unusual medley, while “Fly Me To The Moon” works well as a fast jazz waltz with Weitz setting the pattern and Nudell prominent on clarinet. There is no shortage of energy heard throughout the program, with Nudell and Wayne offering consistently colorful and strong solos that challenge the singer to come up with her best ideas; Ms. Deussen is particularly exuberant on “Sister Sadie.” This is a highly enjoyable and recommended CD that serves as a strong example of the music of Donna Deussen and Paul Weitz.” – Scott Yanow, L.A. Jazz Scene

“Surprise embraces, then violates the familiar. Without the second, the first has no reference point. Donna Deussen’s jazzy, sea-breeze voice finds a bubbling equilibrium between the two here, unmasking the unexpected ballad hiding inside the kindergarten cadences of “If I Only Had a Brain,” and a swift effervescence you’d never expect “On the Street Where you Live.” Her scat interludes fizz with the assurance of a lady who knows her Ella inside out. Geoff Nudell and Wayne Wayne provide sparkling instrumental ballast.” – John McDonough, writer for Downbeat Magazine

“Donna Deussen has a warmer than Tierney Sutton tone to her voice, and teams it up well with guitarist Paul Weitz and his cast of Matt VanBenschoten/b and Gus Duffy/d. She does some clever things with 60s pop tunes like “California Dreamin'” and “Both Sides Now” giving a bit of flair to the folk tunes. Geoff Nudell adds some flute to the latter, while his clarinet makes the cozy take of “Fly Me to the Moon” quite alluring. Deussen sounds assured on the intimate take of “The Very Thought of You” and gets a bit spry with Duffy who shifts gears like a Ghia during “On the Street Where You Live.” Her tone can exude confidence and sass during a strutting “Sister Sadie” which features a gleam in Deussen’s eye. Fun and inviting session.” – George Harris,