Jazz singer Dee Daniels adds soul to NEPA Philharmonic pops concert

by Alexander Choman, Times-Shamrock Music Critic
The Scranton Times € The Tribune
Scranton, PA
February, 2005

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic opened the pops portion of
the current season Friday by showcasing Michael Adelson, the second of
the conductor candidates, as well as the sumptuous vocals of Dee Daniels
in a program titled "Simply Swing and Soul".

The concert was held at the Scranton Cultural Center before an audience
of 1400 people.

Friday evening's concert featured a diverse playlist of some of jazz and
swing's finest musical architects. Compositions by Oscar Hammerstein,
Duke Ellington, Cole Porter and Kurt Weill received remarkably superb
interpretations by Ms. Daniels and similar accompaniment by the
orchestra.

Songs like "Sweet Georgia Brown", "Fever", and "Summertime" were deeply
soulful and oozed with meaningful expression. Likewise, selections like
"Makin' Whoopee", "Mack the Knife" and "Bill Bailey" received wistful
yet playful attention.

Ms. Daniels' four-octave range was impressive on every song she
approached. She easily conjured up images of some the the era's finest
singers including Ella Fitzgerald, Patti Page, Sarah Vaughan, and even
Billie Holiday. Ms. Daniels was most impressive and received well
deserved audience response.

Ms. Daniels has a striking stage presence and exudes a magnificent,
soulful tone to her interpretations. Her technique has subtlety and
charm. The former Seattle school teacher now makes her home in
Vancouver, Canada, but started singing in her step-father's church choir
at age 9 in Oakland, California.

Ms. Daniels was nothing short of superb during Duke Ellington's "I Got
It Bad (And That Ain't Good)". She has a great sense for the
interpretation, preservation, and continued promotion of the best that
jazz and swing offered in it's finest hour.

Whether it's the romantic narrative of "I Can't Give You Anything But
Love" or the gospel blues of "God Bless The Child", Ms. Daniels' voice
caresses the listener with a poignant, confident styling.