Donna Deussen
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Donna Deussen

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"EuroClubdeJazz Review"

Donna Deussen is a graduate of the Berklee School Of Music in Boston and started performing in various pop, rock and country bands in her native Los Angeles before slotting in to the jazz idiom.
She is obviously influenced by Latin music (but who isn't) and starts the album with a fine up tempo version of Mendoca / Jobim's 'One Note Samba', and anyone will tell you who has sung the vocal version, it is a feat on its own to get all the lyrics out in the racing tempo. Eric Marienthal guests in the bridge here with a free flowing exchange which follows on from some excellent piano work from Mark Massey.
Donna sings a Latin rendition of the 'Harburg / Lane' classic 'That Old Devil Moon' which is original and her subtle vocal nuisances and elegant paraphrasing provide a similar patina to that of a Laverne Butler or Joni Mitchell.
The album's highlight for me is her version of Frank Loesser's 'Never Will I Marry' when she shows her spontaneous energy and ability for dramatizing the lyrics in this wonderful jazz classic which again features some tight piano trio accompaniment.
Donna has some engaging melodies on this set, none more intriguing than 'Nature Boy'. This shows her creativity in an arrangement which oozes class throughout.
A creditable first outing from one of L A's up and coming singers and I for one, will look forward to the follow up album.

- Wes Gillespie, EuroClubdeJazz


"CDBaby.com"

Two Thumbs WAYYY Up!

“This is easily one of the most enjoyable CD's I've heard all year...I hear a lot and don't get the urge to write about many, but I just have to spread the word on this one. Donna gets it ALL exactly right; her pitch, rhythm, and most importantly her feel for these songs is right on target as she sings in a variety of styles. Her voice is always pleasing, and she gets vocally creative without wandering into diva territory. Her backing trio is powerfully subtle, lending support and flexing their own muscles while staying true to the composition. Great production (also by Ms. Deussen) makes a perfect blending of all the elements. Highlights? Every track! I'll be spinning this one a LOT, and recommend it very highly.” - Bob Muller


"Various CD Purchasers"

“I got your CD on Friday and it was a real treat. You sound great. I really enjoyed hearing you and your band sounds great... What a great choice of tunes, a nice variety. I really like your style and interpretation… nice scat on Blue Skies.”
-Ernie Mills, trombonist, Tamworth, N.H.

“Your CD is wonderful! Talk about singing with conviction... Love the arrangements on Nature Boy and Sugar. .. But, mostly I love the way you SING…”
-Julie Kelly, jazz vocalist, Los Angeles, CA

“We received your CD and enjoyed listening to it over dinner last night… You have evolved into quite a jazz singer and you and the ensemble sound great… think you have really found your niche doing jazz. It is really a finer art form and you have the talent to do it.”
-Nancy Bloomer, composer, Palo Alto, CA

“Just wanted to tell you that your CD is quite cool!… In particular: Skylark, Sugar, Blue Skies, Show Me, Every Breath…”
-Harald Nieuwland, Chesieres, Switzerland

“Listened to the album. Kicks ass. Great! Congrats! You sound fabulous. I like all the cuts, but I think Blues in the Night and the Chick Corea tune are my favorites… I must say that all my friends who have seen the record want to pounce on you..."sexy voice" comments abound. Also - "great singer" ... "sounds like a musician…”
- Mark Massey, jazz pianist, Long Beach, CA

“…I must say I enjoyed [the CD] very much… You have a lovely, sultry, voice, and I enjoyed the unusual arrangements.”
-Roy Sykes, Los Angeles CA

“Wow! I am really impressed with your CD! Your voice has really matured, and you have a great style. Your band plays very well…Again, congratulations on a great job.”
-Mike Hathaway, Madison, N.H.

“I've listened to the CD several times and enjoyed it. Very ambitious. Nature Boy is really in your groove, vocally and expression wise. You seemed loose yet intense. What we all aspire to…”
-Ken Okuno, guitarist, Pasadena, CA

“Your CD is amazing! You sound WONDERFUL! The arrangements - terrific with a very professional sounding CD. It sounds as good as anything you hear on the jazz/standards radio. Excellent job! We listen to it a lot!”
-Ann Raziel, Venice, CA - n/a


"Disc Chat"

“.. [An] exquisite vocal jazz album… spirited and sexy… the 12-track CD presents the work of such greats as Lerner and Loewe, Irving Berlin… there are also some surprises present: a sultry, sensuous treatment of Joni Mitchell’s “River”… Mention must be made of her tight backing band, with special guest Eric Marienthal on sax … the sound quality is wonderful and the imaging puts the whole 45-minute performance right in your living room!” - Lucky Clark / Northern Light


"Review of "River""

“The track (‘River’) sounds lovely. [Donna’s] voice is luminous - love the clear, open tone and graceful phrasing… excellent choice for a jazz cover… superb backing players who bring a fresh vibe to the song. The track sounds radio ready.”
- Taxi A&R


"John McDonough"

"I regularly read obituaries on the demise of the American song canon. So why is it that so many of best and smartest younger singers -- the real virtuosos who actually can sing -- keep doing them? Without getting nostalgic or academic about it, Donna Deussen nails a dozen ASCAP beauties on her High Wire CD with the cool assurance of a singer who also happens to be a musician of the very first order. That gives her a lot of resources to play with, especially when tackling an off-beat item like “Nature Boy”. A bright voice under the control of an agile musicianship and wise good taste." - Downbeat jazz reviewer


Discography

"High Wire" 2003
(featuring ERIC MARIENTHAL (Chick Corea Elektric Band) on sax.)
Mark Massey - keys
Anders Swanson - bass
Aldo Bentivegna - drums
The CD has been getting airplay on many stations around the world, including:
KKJZ Long Beach, KCLU Thousand Oaks, KBEM Minneapolis, WAER Syracuse, WICN Worchester MA, SkyJazz Internet Radio, CFRC Radio Ontario Canada, WTJU Charlottesville VA, WPKN Bridgeport CT, and Radio LaGuagua Argentina.

Photos

Bio

Jazz Vocalist DONNA DEUSSEN is a California native, but spent much of her childhood in rural New Hampshire. She began taking piano lessons at age 7, and began taking her love of singing seriously in high school, where she was admitted to the All-New England Choir both her junior and senior years. She attended and graduated magna cum laude in 1989 from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, with a degree in songwriting.

After college, she moved to Los Angeles, and began performing, writing, and recording all styles of contemporary music, including pop, R&B, country, rock, folk, and, of course, jazz.

Donna has performed at a wide variety of venues in the Southern California area, including: Holly Street Bar & Grill, Spazio Restaurant, Millenium Biltmore Hotel, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Auditorium, The Palace, The Cinegrill, Lunaria’s, The Jazz Bakery, Cal Tech Summer Jazz Series, Monteleone’s, Sportsman’s Lodge, The Other Side, L.A. Cabaret, The Money Tree, The Gardenia Room, Portofino on Pine, Luna Park, Fox & Hound, and many more.

In Arizona, she has performed at most of the major venues in the city, including the Phoenician Hotel, the Ritz Carlton Hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel, and the Rio Verde Country Club, to name just a few. She also recently headlined at Johnny’s Uptown Supper Club.

In April 2003, Donna’s long-awaited debut jazz CD, “High Wire” was released. It reflects her command of a vast range of styles, from samba to the blues. It showcases some of LA's best musicians: Mark Massey on keyboards, Aldo Bentivegna on drums, Anders Swanson on bass, and Eric Marienthal on saxaphone. “High Wire” features all-original arrangements by Donna and Mark Massey, including a “Weather Report” inspired version of “Nature Boy” and a jazz rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “River.” The CD has been garnering favorable reviews, and is getting airplay on many jazz radio stations, including KKJZ Long Beach, KCLU Thousand Oaks, KBEM Minneapolis, WAER Syracuse, WICN Worchester MA, SkyJazz Internet Radio, CFRC Radio Ontario Canada, WTJU Charlottesville VA, WPKN Bridgeport CT, and Radio LaGuagua Argentina! “High Wire” is available online at www.cdbaby.com/deussen.

Donna has performed and recorded with the top studio musicians in L.A., including those who have worked with/toured with Chick Corea, Sarah Vaughan, Poncho Sanchez, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Tierney Sutton, Jack Jones, Tom Jones, Melissa Manchester, Jean-Luc Ponty, the Righteous Brothers, the Coasters, the Platters, The Crystals, The Shirelles, Englebert Humperdinck, and many many more.

Donna has recently relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, but is still performing in the Southern California area. For booking or further information, please contact deussend@yahoo.com or visit her website at www.donnadeussen.com.