“…a treat not to be missed by anyone not afraid to open their ears beyond their normal comfort zone. Well done.”
“…a collection of music that speaks directly to intimacy, loss, and the bends in life’s road. The eleven tracks presented on this quiet beauty tap into a variety of emotions, with love, sadness, mourning, life’s vagaries, and the grip of memory all serving as wellsprings of creativity for Los Angeles-based vocalist Deborah Shulman…Pianist Terry Trotter, who arranged all of the material and co-produced the album with Shulman, is classy as can be, whether soloing or serving in a support role; Koonse adds a dab of the unexpected, both in his solo work and his accompaniment; and bassist Kenny Wild and drummer Joe LaBarbera provide light touch support when they appear…While it’s easy to understand how a ballad-centric record that refuses to look at love with rose-colored glasses and examines the intersections between life and death isn’t an easy sell, music as fine as this deserves to be heard. So kudos to Summit Records for releasing it…”
Anyone in the mood for romanticism? Love songs? Well, that is the order of the day for singer Deborah Shulman and a quartet of sterling silver colleagues. Shulman may not be considered a jazz singer in the realm of the O’Days or McRaes. However, she possesses a sweet charm and delivers a lyric with a clear understanding of the meaning behind it. The Los Angeles-based quartet supporting her includes the versatile pianist Terry Trotter alongside Larry Koonse (guitar), Ken Wild (bass), and Joe La Barbera (drums). And the love songs do prevail. How about entries such as these: “The Shining Sea,” “A Sleepin’ Bee,” “My Foolish Heart,” “Sometime Ago,” “My One And Only Love,” “Never Never Land,” and my personal fave, Johnny Mandel and Dave Frishberg’s masterpiece, “You Are There.” On all of these and several more surprises, Shulman and friends get the message across with simple, straight-forward beauty. One can tell that they deeply care about these touching songs.
-Jazz Society of Oregon by George Fendel
Stripped-down and captivatingly heartwarming… Deborah Shulman joins with a couple of LA heavyweights, Terry Trotter and Larry Koonse, to lay down a beautiful recording.
Deborah Shulman: vocals
Terry Trotter: piano
Larry Koonse: guitar
Ken Wild: bass
Joe La Barbera: drums
The Shining Sea • A Sleepin’ Bee • My Foolish Heart • Loving You • My One And Only Love • Never Never Land • Some Time Ago • This Hotel • You Are There • Where Do I Go From Here • Shiver Me Timbers
REVIEW / Downbeat, May 2016