Dee Daniels, Intimate Conversations (Origin)
Accompanied only by Martin Wind’s forthright bass lines, the singer sets her story-telling course with the imperishable 84-year-old “Exactly Like You.” She and Wind are so convincing again in “I Wish You Love” that this listener found himself wishing for an entire album with just the two of them. However, Daniels is equally effective accompanying herself on piano and coloring “All The Way” with blues feeling as Wycliffe Gordon provides wa-wa trombone commentary. There are other closely held partnerships with clarinetist Ken Peplowski, pianist Cyrus Chestnut, guitarist Russell Malone, electric keyboardist Ted Brancato and tenor saxophonists Houston Person and Bob Kindred. Her and Person’s “A Song For You” may make you forget Leon Russell. Daniels is a superb vocal actress who understands phrasing, vibrato, gospel and the blues. She conducts 10 conversations that are compelling, dramatic and, yes, intimate.