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Got A Little Story
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Take a recipe perfected by Sinatra seasoned with equal parts Billie Holiday and Streisand. Add a teaspoon of Ella, a dash of Peggy Lee and the result arranged by the extraordinary Chris Walden is pure heaven; ten fresh delectable numbers ranging from Big Band Swing to Easy Listening and Latin. Ms. D'Amico's lush emotional colorings are full of depth and longing, expressing a unique point of view, an intimate outpouring of an incurable romantic's heart and soul.
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Affectionately dubbed as "Sinatra on heels," D'Amico follows in the footsteps of the Ol' Blue Eye in mining into the Great American Songbook. Nevertheless, D'Amico has a way in outfitting each of these venerable chestnuts with a fresh coat of interpretation that is warm and authentic without eradicating the essence of these tunes. Further, this former contestant of the reality show "On the Lot," does more than just tackle the paeans of the bygone sepia era of Sinatra and Holiday, she has also included selections of a more contemporary flare including the Barry Manilow's "When October Goes," Anne Hampton Callaway's "Perfect" and Harry Connick Jr.'s "We are in Love." Most enthralling about "Got a Little Story" is D'Amico's vocals. She is indeed blessed with a winsome package deal: when she croons she has the sophisticated swagger of a Diana Krall and when she belts she has the girlish naiveté of a Kristin Chenoweth. Backed by a big band of luminaries arranged by deft touches of Grammy winner Chris Walden, "Got a Little Story" is classy without sounding presumptuous.
To experience the creative ingenuity of D'Amico, simply take a listen to her reading of "When October Goes." Though she gives this Manilow co-write a Latin makeover yet she in no way robs away the melancholic and picturesque tenor of this eloquent ballad. On the other hand, Harry Connick Jr.'s "We Are in Love" gets a more celebratory spin with some smoking boozing trumpet solos being the song's highlight. Accompanied by a lush bevy of strings and the tickling of some jazzy piano , D'Amico's performance of Ann Hampton Callaway's "Perfect" is breathtakingly bittersweet as she immerses herself into this nostalgic tale of a love that once was. To show how boundless music can be, D'Amico completely transforms the Beatles' rockfish "And I Love Him" into a big band masterpiece heaped with jazzy overtones.
Nowadays for those who have jumped on the American songbook bandwagon, the songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein seem indispensable. Here D'Amico has chosen well to tackle Rogers and Hammerstein's "The Gentleman is a Dope." D'Amico's girlish vocals certainly gives this paean of unrequited love a rejuvenated feel that captures a sense of innocence few can bring out so sublimely as D'Amico. Taking her time to nuance each note with emotion, D'Amico brings out the desperate loneliness of Sinatra's "One for My Baby." On the other hand, she can kick up her heels with jubilation on her joyful rendition of "They All Laughed."
Though this is only her debut disc, D'Amico is an artist to watch. Regardless of the song, D'Amico has a way of inhabiting her lyrics fully bringing out the emotions as if the song was written just for her. And any observant listener will be able to feel D'Amico's weight in them. This shows her command, creativity and most importantly, her heart placed in each and every note that she sings. Hence, despite delving into these covers, she has a way of making them her own. Let's hope this LML release is the beginning of more music to come our way from this talented coloratura.