Deanna Bogart – Pianoland
"She plays the keyboard and sings like nothing you've ever heard - but should! Her vocal style is as full of vitality as her piano playing - both are sexy and deep." -- The Baltimore Sun
Keyboardist, pianist, saxophonist, vocalist and songwriter Deanna Bogart is best known as an award-winning multi-instrumentalist and multifaceted musician whose fans value the eclectic diversity of her genre defying sensibilities and talents. For her latest Blind Pig release, Deanna has produced something unique in her recorded work, a beautifully intimate effort entitled Pianoland that spotlights her considerable skills as a solo performer. Comprising instrumentals and vocal tracks, her own sparkling compositions and well-chosen covers by the likes of Errol Garner and Harold Arlen, and solo and small group arrangements, Pianoland stands as one of the highlights of Deanna's brilliant and varied career.
As usual, Deanna's easy mastery of a variety of musical genres allows her to segue from one to the next, delighting the listener with unexpected turns of mood and tempo. Errol Garner's melodically quirky "Boogie Woogie Boogie" segues into Deanna's own achingly beautiful ballad, "Couldn't Love You More". Later, she catapults us from Willie Dixon's big city blues, "I Love The Life I Live", through a pile-driving version of Pete Johnson's "Death Ray Boogie" into a lovely take on Harold Arlen's "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and, finally, to the magisterial, reflective title track. Throughout, Pianoland combines technical prowess with Deanna's signature soulful and utterly honest delivery. It's the real deal.
1. In the Rain - 4:07 2. On and on And - 4:05 3. Boogie Woogie Boogie - 3:08 4. Couldn't Love You More - 3:22 5. Where the Well Never Runs Dry - 3:57 6. I Love the Life I Live - 2:33 7. Death Ray Boogie - 2:21 8. Over the Rainbow - 2:48 9. Pianoland - 7:07 10. Blues at 11 - 2:27 11. Close Your Eyes - 4:18
Deanna Bogart (vocals, piano) , Dan Leonard (guitar) , Scott Ambush (electric bass) , Jeff Reed (upright bass) , Mike Aubin (drums)
"Once in a rare while an album comes along that just captures you with its beauty, creativity and magic. Pianoland by Deanna Bogart is a masterpiece of blues healing. At times listening to this album is like listening to Coltrane or Monk for the first time. And as with any great work of art Pianoland defies easy classification. Bogart handles the piano with technical prowess, moving easily from genre to genre. But then on the last half of this album it enters the realm of a masterpiece. This is powerful stuff. You listen to the final track and you realize you have been on such an amazing journey that you have to play it again. That never happens to me with music anymore. On this album it did. And I love it. Only a true artist could have pulled off an album as ambitious as this."
2. Washington Post
"It's the soulful ballads and sublime pop interpretations that ultimately distinguish "Pianoland" and help make it Bogart's most rewarding and well-rounded album yet. Her vocal charms and songwriting talent have always been evident, and those gifts consistently stand out on this album."
3. About.com Blues
"The songs cover a lot of ground, including some boogie-woogie and blues, but venturing widely into the kind of pop/jazz material that puts her into the same nameless category Bonnie Raitt has inhabited these past couple of decades. It's thoughtful music, seriously crafted, and completely enjoyable....Pianoland is a triumph of individual expression. "
"At times Pianoland is funky, at others it is elegant, and at others it is simply gorgeous...more than just a good album, it's a really, really good album-maybe even a great album-by an engaging musical talent."
5. AllMusic - j. poet
Deanna Bogart is a blues pianist and sax player with an eclectic resumé that includes years in the Western swing band Cowboy Jazz and a long tenure with Root Boy Slim's skewed R&B outfit. She also has impressive country, jazz, and boogie-woogie chops, the latter showcased on two standout tracks here -- Erroll Garner's "Boogie Woogie Boogie," a romp that shows of her strong syncopated left-hand bass runs, and Pete Johnson's "Death Ray Boogie," where she concentrates on bright, jazzy right-hand fills. Her original tunes provide the album's heart and soul. "Where the Well Never Runs Dry" is a slow, fervent love song that urges lovers to ignore the pain and go deeper to find deliverance. Bogart's soulful keyboard work and Scott Ambush's brooding electric bass support her fervent vocal. She's more upbeat on "In the Rain," a jaunty tune about looking for better times, featuring bright, sparkling keyboard work and Jeff Reed's driving acoustic bass, while "Blues at 11" is, not unexpectedly, a lonely, late-night instrumental delivered by Bogart alone at the keyboard. The album's showstopper is her smoldering version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Most singers emphasize the song's message of hope and its dream of better days, but Bogart slows the tempo way down and delivers a vocal that's full of sadness and desolation. Her bluesy take reminds us that we're usually under the rainbow, and the rain clouds, hoping for a better day that most likely will never come.
6. Living Blues
"Pianoland is an intently focused, blues/jazz-infused effort. Bogart centers her work around her underrated, interpretative vocals, and sense of musicianship. This is Deanna Bogart in her purest, soul-spilling musical incarnation, letting her ideas breathe with a touch of class."
"With her spellbinding piano chops, thoughtful songwriting and rich. sultry voice, Deanna Bogart brims with talent and creativity. Pianoland wonderfully showcases Bogart's artistry and musicianship. Pianoland has enough polish and pop sensiblity to appeal to a wider audience. Here's to hoping that Deanna Bogart becomes a household name."
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