Dee Daniels - Well Worth the Wait
by Allene Halliday
A good twenty-five years have gone by since I last saw this performer
in action in Seattle. Dee Daniels' mastery of the piano coupled with her
While I lived in Redmond, WA, I followed her career through the years hoping to have the opportunity to see her "live" again. (She married a Canadian twenty years ago and moved to Vancouver, had a daughter and makes occasional appearances in Seattle as part of her nation wide tours.)
Nothing stays the same; not even Dee Daniels. She has a different hairstyle, acquired an excellent bass player accompanist and has added scat to her program; quite a bit of scat. Many in the audience were in awe of her exceptional artistry in this vocal style. The applause was thunderous. Unfortunately, I'm not a fan. A little goes a long way. However, this lady's extraordinary range of four octaves caused me to sit up and take notice during the scat runs. She hit those notes at the high end of her range lightly, clearly and exquisitely. Her high "F" was ethereal! Well, as I said earlier, she blew me away.
Still, her piano artistry and her smoky lower range vocals remain the most impressive and affecting moments for me. She's incomparable. Although I did think of Nat Cole more than once during the program, she held her own against my all time favorite.
There's more patter in her introduction of pieces than there was years ago. She speaks with warmth, humor and sincerity. Whether it's only a few words or a complete story, she connects with the audience. During the intermission I overheard others discussing Ms. Daniels enthusiasm, sparkling personality and obvious love for her work. Incidentally, every note she sang was right on and every word was understandable. She is a masterful musician and showman.
Her accomplished bass player, Russell Botten, received plenty of well-deserved applause for his solo sections.
Only once did she step away from the piano to sing. With the bass as her sole accompaniment, she delivered a stand out rendition of "Sweet Georgia Brown". It was the highlight of the evening.