Pre-release review (10/15/15): Bree Noble, Women of Substance Radio
With the opening notes of "You've Changed...Me Too", it's clear that what has changed is that Dena Taylor has confidently taken the reins of her music career and is making bold, risky decisions that are paying off.
The collection opens with a sophisticated, upbeat jazz rendition of "How High The Moon" - the kind of fare we've come to enjoy from Dena - but here she takes even greater care with vocal nuance than on her previous, stellar recordings.
The title track is a sumptuous treat. From the interplay between the piano and sax to the languorous vocal lines, this song is a masterful culmination of Dena's career as a vocalist and producer, and definitely my favorite. Especially exemplified on these jazz classics, I have never heard Dena sing with more control, beauty and joy. Some unexpected highlights on the CD include the songs that pay homage to her country roots like "Silver Wings" with its superb harmonies, and her unique take on "Crazy".
One of my favorite bluesy standouts is "And I Don't Care Who Knows". This song, like many on the CD, relies on the synergy of singer and talented instrumentalists weaving in and out, smoothly and easily handing off the baton to one another.
As executive producer, Dena makes spot on artistic choices on all 9 songs. Although Dena Taylor has several exceptional albums under her belt, this new collection of re-invented classics is head-and-shoulders above the rest.
CEO Women of Substance Radio & Host of WOS Music Podcast
Pre-release review (01/04/16): James McQuiston, Editor of NeuFutur Magazine
Over the course of the last year, we have been fortunate to sit down with Dena and give her last album, Lullabies, a review.
Ain’t Got Nothing But The Blues is a very traditional blues-tinged track that has a hint of honky-tonk. Taylor’s vocals play out on the top of the track, but the backing instrumentation experienced during this single establish a stellar backdrop.
There is a richness this this composition that makes You’ve Changed inherently inviting. The sizzling horns of And I Don’t Care Who Knows are bolstered by Dena’s vocals. The deliberate tempo of the track hammers home the message of the track, while giving listeners something which to slow-dance.
We were particular fans of the walking bass line that initiates Close Your Eyes. The more restrained style of Dena during this effort provides highlighting to the band, making for something special and wholly different on the album.
The Masquerade Is Over could easily exist in the twenties or thirties, with Dena’s vocals setting the stage for the emotive piano line. Together, the story that Dena’s voice and the instrument tells is something special. The track will resound loudly in the minds and hearts of listeners long after You’ve Changed has ceased to play.
IMC's 2014 Best Female Jazz Artist
"It's not enough for music to BE good, it also has to DO good!"