CD review from Jersey Jazz for June 2016 issue

Despite ongoing critical acclaim, it has been about 15 years since vocalist DANE VANNATTER last released a new recording. In the interim, he has stayed busy, originally in the Boston area, and currently in Pittsburgh, with occasional forays to New York City. Now he has released Give Me Something Real (Self-Produced), an album that contains ten selections, six standards, “Lover Come Back to Me,” “Just Squeeze Me,” “But Beautiful,” “Blame It on My Youth,” “East of the Sun” and “Something to Live For,” with a medley pairing more contemporary material, Coldplay’s “Fix You,” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah;” an Al Green’s soul hit, “Let’s Stay Together;” “Give Me Something Real” a song written for the 1998 film Living Out Loud; and a Bob Haymes rarity, the whimsical “I Love My Bed,” showing that Vannatter is comfortable and effective when he strays from the world of standards. The program was recorded in two 2015 sessions, one in Massachusetts with pianist Fred Boyle, bassist Ron Ormsby, drummer Bart Weisman, trumpeter Steve Ahern, and saxophonist/flautist Bruce Abbot, and the other in Pittsburgh with Daniel May on keyboards, Eric Susoeff on guitar and Jon Evans on bass. Vannatter is a vocalist who gives his full attention to the lyrics that he sings, and he performs them with a smooth and flexible voice that is instantly appealing. It is good to have a new recording from Vannatter who is best described as a cabaret singer with a jazz/swing sensibility.

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