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MP3 Dena Taylor - Round Midnight

This vocalist has an intensely strong, rich and mellow voice and she draws you into the jazz songs she sings.

9 MP3 Songs in this album (41:36) !
Related styles: JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo

People who are interested in Rosemary Clooney Ella Fitzgerald Carmen McRae should consider this download.

Review: Too Close for Comfort (Track 1)

The track opens with a solid bass line doubled with piano establishing a motif that is revisited gracefully throughout the arrangement. The performance has the spirit of a traditional jazz trio & vocal group working through a head chart while including a subtle arrangement adding depth to an otherwise familiar format. Nice job.

The vocal performance feels good too .. right in the pocket. I like the way the vocalist shapes the phrasing without over doing it and lets the music dictate a natural direction.

The group swings with taste making this an easy listening experience - always a good thing.

Review of: Too Close for Comfort
By: TAXI A&R, July 2008


Dena Taylor and her quartet featuring keyboardist Ron Teixeira, bassist Ron Pirtle, and drummer Dave Dunscombe, arrive in the summer of 2008 with the American Standard songbook in tow. Their new CD, ‘round Midnight, is named after the haunting Monk ballad whose melody has remained with Taylor throughout her life. ‘round Midnight features 9 tracks of classic Jazz tunes performed admirably by the aforementioned musicians.

The strong-voiced, yet sweet singing Taylor chose the 9 tracks based on her appreciation of the lyrics and emotional attachment to the melodies. After listening to the CD, there’s no doubt that she’s made each song her own personal statement.

‘round Midnight begins with a groovy rendition of ‘Too Close for Comfort’, in which keyboardist Teixeira follows the melody with a nice solo. Dena sings the melody out, and leaves the listener wanting more.

‘That Old Black Magic’ continues with an addictive Latin groove. The bridge ‘brings the swing’, and again Teixeira has a chance to show his improvisational skills with a very supportive rhythm section.

Monk’s ballad is up next to slow things down a bit. Here Taylor’s vocal skills are in full display. She lends some well-timed vibrato and phrasing to the inherent beauty of the melody.

Other tracks you won’t want to miss are ‘Let’s Face the Music and Dance’ and ‘Our Love is Here to Stay.’ Both tunes feature the rhythm section trading ‘4’s’, demonstrating their intuitive and supportive interplay. The bonus track ‘Route 66’ features guitar, and you won’t want to miss the Bossa ‘I’m a Fool to Want You’.

‘round Midnight is a collection of timeless American standards that is a perfect traveling companion for a summer journey. Forget the ‘pain at the pump’. Let Dena Taylor’s sultry voice ease your worries and keep you smiling!

Michael Kraft
July 11, 2008
Ditzingen, Germany


One of the brightest smiles you could imagine is worn on the face of Dena Taylor. A jovial spirit with a robust laugh is what you will find when you have the opportunity to look inside her heart. A rich, soulful and velvet tone envelops the listener right from her first note. Dena brings years of experience to her latest project, "Round Midnight.”

Born with a song in her heart, it was a song that for years cried out to be heard against all odds including a childhood that was anything but encouraging and nurturing. After many years of building her musical talent by way of singing locally in any venue she could find, she continued honing her skills and love of music. Dena entered into the military and remained from 1970 to 1982, mostly in Greece, Spain and Germany. Dena was able to utilize her vocal talents jamming with friends as well as performing in USO shows and local events in nearby hotels and clubs. During this time, she was offered a recording contract in the United Kingdom but turned it down to get married, finding out later that wasn''t the best choice.

When Dena left the military she started to work for a ''think tank'' in Virginia and went back to school to finish her education in financial planning. Relocating to Houston and working as a financial analyst for a Fortune 500 company, the unthinkable happened, a tragic car accident that resulted in a brain injury. It took two years for her to learn to walk and talk again. All through this time the song in Dena''s heart never died, she could still hear it. Coming through this maze of adversity was a spirit that was determined, focused, sensitive, wise and open to life. Dena founded a brain injury organization and did workshops for neurological rehabilitation conferences in addition to creating a website for brain injury survivors (https://www.tradebit.com). It became a ''job'' for her where she had ran an international magazine to and for fellow survivors. After her divorce, with limited resources, she had to stop much of her brain injury related work since it became too much for her. Yet, the song in her heart was still humming....

Learning that she was more courageous than she had ever thought, she began to rebuild her life. First and foremost was the need to reconnect with her music and she started that by auditioning for community theatre and sitting in with encouraging musician friends. Dena was now on her way with a spirit determined to once and for all ''sing that song'' that had lingered in her heart for years.

She wants to lend her voice musically to areas of "cause" that are close to her heart, for very personal reasons, such as: neurological fundraisers, child abuse, women''s shelters, rape victims, family & spousal abuse and breast cancer. She wants to help by giving those areas of concern "a voice", her voice ... by telling her riveting story as both a public speaker and performer. Dena''s musicianship can fall into the like of any jazz setting and she makes you feel at home when you listen to her. She’s known for intimate presentations in her live performances.

Dena took on the challenge of breathing life back into her musical career. On a minimum budget she pulled in all her resources to create an expression of her whole life through music. With musicians like Ron Teixeira on keyboards, Dave Dunscombe on drums and Ron Pirtle on the upright bass backing her, the story started to take form. Dena''s new CD "Round Midnight" is a heartwarming expression of her true nature and shows her spirit as a soulful storyteller.

Dena has a reason to share such a story. If not for her faith, the song in her heart and her perseverance to push on and reclaim as much of her dream as possible, that dream would have become just another loss, another failure, another sad memory. She is equally determined to encourage others to dream and to continue on no matter how tragic or challenged a life is.

Dena has a song in her heart ~ listen to her story and be touched .... she goes far beyond the dream through her music, for it finally came .... “Round Midnight!”

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