review of Dane’s new CD by David Finkle

Give Me Something Real – Dane Vannatter: Some warblers who concentrated on cabaret rooms have shifted their attention to jazz rooms. They’ve done so from expedience. At a time when the number of cabaret rooms around the country has been shrinking, they’ve had to make the lateral move in order to nail bookings. Whether that’s Vannatter’s tactic may or may not be, but as someone who’s always been among the best of the cabaret crooners, he’s made the transition smoothly. As evidenced here, he’s loosened up the sort of standards to which he’s always leaned while fronting several adroit musicians. Some of the songs are jazz-ready, and some may not sound as if they would be. The Hammerstein-Sigmund Romberg “Lover Come Back to Me” is one of the latter, whereas Billy Strayhorn’s “Something to Live For” is one of the former. Both come off beautifully in Vannatter’s hands and issuing from his smooth pipes. Perhaps the inspired track is a medley (mash-up is a more appropriate description) of Coldplay’s “Fix Me” with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Perhaps the jolliest track is his take on Bob Haymes’s “I Love My Bed.”

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