Dee Daniels | Feels So Good!

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Blues: Jazzy Blues Moods: Type: Vocal
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Feels So Good!

by Dee Daniels

Dee Daniels, jazz and blues singer, has assembled a unique combo of jazz legends - Norman Simmons, John Clayton, Kenny Washington, Houston Person, and Benny Powell - for this offering of standards and originals that sizzle and feels so good!
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Honeysuckle Rose
6:58 $0.99
2. Song For My Father
5:50 $0.99
3. April In Paris
5:29 $0.99
4. Midlife Crisis
5:04 $0.99
5. Who Can I Turn To
5:17 $0.99
6. Love Is Here
4:53 $0.99
7. The Look of Love
6:44 $0.99
8. Love Ain't Love Without You
7:05 $0.99
9. That's All
3:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Whether accompanying her self at the piano, fronting a trio, big band or symphony, Dee Daniels' musical career is as varied as her four-octave vocal range is thrilling. She is a unique talent who transcends musical borders when she brings her jazz styling, infused with gospel and blues flavoring, to the stage. One critic says, "Daniels' voice has a hypnotic quality, delivering an impressive range that gives the romantic songs and verse of 50 years ago new life and raw emotion."

Though Dee has a B.A. Degree in Art Education and taught high school art for a year in Seattle, she quickly realized that her true calling was music. Her vocal style was born in her stepfather's church choir in Oakland, California, refined through the R&B era, polished during a five-year stay in The Netherlands and Belgium from 1982 to 1987, and brought to full fruition upon her return to North America. During those years to the present, she has performed and recorded with many 'Legends of Jazz' including Toots Thielemans, Houston Person, Clark Terry, Lionel Hampton, Monty Alexander, John Clayton, and Jeff Hamilton, Hank Jones, Bill Charlap, and Russell Malone – to mention a few.

Career highlights include a nomination for Atlanta Theater’s 2010 Suzi Bass Award; the 2009 receipt of an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Fine Arts and 2008 President’s Award, both from Capilano University; 2003 recipient of the prestigious Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and induction into the University of Montana’s School of Fine Arts Hall of Honor as well as a 1997 University of Montana Distinguished Alumni Award; a 2002 inductee into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame with a plaque installed on Vancouver's Granville Street Walk of Fame; and a command performance for the King and Queen of Belgium’s 25th Wedding Anniversary. Dee's international career includes performances in twelve African countries, Australia, South America, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, throughout North America, and many countries within Europe.

Dee has cultivated a diverse career that has also seen her on theatre stages including the 2009 premiere of New York choreographer, Twyla Tharp’s, new musical, Come Fly Away, and, as an inspirational speaker, with a keynote address being delivered at the 2009 Women’s CEO & Senior Management Summit in Toronto.

With the creation of her Symphony Pops programs, Great Ladies of Swing, The Soul of Ray: The Music of Ray Charles, and A Night Out With the Boys, Dee has enjoyed sharing stages with symphony orchestras across the USA and Canada. She has toured with the Nord Netherlands Symphony Orchestra; performed Songs From Disney Movies with the Munich Radio Orchestra; recorded her Wish Me Love CD with The Metropole Orchestra of Holland; and recorded the Holiday Pops CD with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She is the guest vocalist on the 2006 Crossover Xmas and the 2007 Crossover Xmas: The Sound Goes Big CDs recorded with the Philharmonie Baden-Baden of Germany.

A respected vocal clinician, adjudicator, and mentor, Dee presents clinics, workshops, and master classes around the world. In 2001, she established the Dee Daniels Jazz Vocal Scholarship at the Capilano University in North Vancouver, BC. She served on the advisory board of the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival from 2002 – 2008, and has received several awards for her contribution in the field of music performance, music education, and community service.

Dee has several CDs as a leader to her credit, in addition to being a guest artist on CDs of other artists, including compilation CDs. Visit for further information about her releases, in addition to reviews, performance schedule, gallery, and more.



Feels SO Good! - reviews
The Vancouver Sun
By Marke Andrews

When Vancouver's Dee Daniels is on, which is most of the time, few singers can touch her for both technique and expression.

She has plenty of both qualities on Feels SO Good!, a recording consisting of six jazz standards and three Daniels originals. You hear the technique on the opener, "Honeysuckle Rose", which begins as an open-time ballad full of creative line interpretations, and then rolls into a rollicking swing tempo, with Daniels interacting with trombonist, Benny Powell.

You sense the emotion that goes into all nine tracks, but in particular "April in Paris", where Daniels sings with the ache of a woman who asks, "What have you done to my heart?", and on the 6/8 blues original "Love Ain't Love Without You", where Daniels builds and builds, concluding with one memorable verse where her delivery is almost primal.

Daniels has a legion of fans in the Lower Mainland, and I don't think any will be disappointed with this outing.


The Record,
Album Reviews, Robert Reid

The rich and sultry voice of Vancouver jazz artist Dee Daniels imbued the theme song for the Urban Peasant with a sophistication the CBC cooking show otherwise lacked.

Daniels brings that same sense of sassy class to "Feel SO Good", the second album released on her own label.

Eight of the album's nine tracks are produced by Daniels, who plays piano in addition to handling vocals. The songs blend six, standards (from Honeysuckle Rose through April in Paris to Horace Silver's Song for My Father) with three Daniels originals

She has recorded an album that captures the feeling of live performance - in no small measure because of the talented musicians she has assembled including Houston Person on tenor sax, Benny Powell on trombone, John Clayton Jr. on bass, Norman Simmons on piano and Kenny Washington on drums.

"Feels SO Good" sounds so good.


Toronto Star
Dee Daniels, FEELS SO GOOD (3XD)

This Vancouver vocalist is as sophisticated as they come, and deserves a wide audience for her work - her four-octave voice was heard earlier this year at The Senator. There's more than a touch of Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae in her sound and at times she's as vocally acrobatic as Betty Carter on a session comprised of six standards and three originals. She's in particularly fine form on the opening "Honeysuckle Rose", complete with yodel effects, It doesn't hurt that she's recruited a top-notch New York band with estimable tenorman Houston Person and sympathetic pianist Norm Simmons joined by trombonist Benny Powell, bass John Clayton and drummer Kenny Washington. Daniels brings great intensity to Horace Silver's "Song For My Father", does more than Diana Krall with "The Look of Love", and also plays nifty piano on "Who Can I Turn To" and her own gospel-like, angst-ridden "Love Ain't Love Without You". She's relaxed and loose, and refuses to be tempted into excess, though she let Person honk happily on her tune "Midlife Crisis" - after all, it's her own record label.


Peter Lund

In my jazz encyclopedia there are four entries under Daniels - Eddie, Joe, Maine and Mike. There is no reference, however, to Dee Daniels, yet judging by this CD, she is a blues singer of the highest quality. She is responsible for all the arrangements with the exception of Song For My Father, which is arranged by the bassist on the session, John Clayton Junior. Houston Person co-produced the album and was responsible for assembling the highly talented musicians who form the supporting group. Person's wonderful collaboration with Etta Jones is one of the most successful partnerships in jazz but he has done an equally successful job here.

Dee Daniels does sound a little like Etta Jones but she has a swinging, blues style which is all her own. All of the songs are given an excellent outing but I particularly enjoyed her version of Anthony Newly's Who Can I Turn To, on which Miss Daniels also plays piano. Houston Person's driving, tenor playing is in evidence throughout as is the drumming of Kenny Washington. All of the musicians are personal friends of the singer and all contribute to the occasion.

Houston Person describes Dee Daniels as "classy, bluesy, great musicianship, elegant, and more - Dee Daniels, the jazz world's hidden treasure". Who are we to disagree?

John Stevenson

LONDON - Jazz divas have often been given a bad rap. We've all heard of the self-indulgences, much-storied temper tantrums, and domineering complexes of these ladies of song. The bittersweet stories of Billie Holiday, and the out-of-the-floodlight antics of Nina Simone, for example, lend credence to a somewhat dark and unpleasant image of the jazz chanteuse. These accounts, though, should not in the least take away from the outstanding vocal prowess of these dames.
Jazz, however, is all about democracy, faith, a sense of musical communion, and above all artistic integrity. Qualities which no doubt marry the musical and the spiritual. Within this definitional matrix, Dee Daniels is a diva, for she embodies the finest traditions of this century-old music.

On her triumphant 2002 release on the 3XD imprint, "Feels So Good", Daniels has brought together a fine cast of musicians to support a very powerful statement of intent. She is a vocal phenomenon: for her goose-bump inducing contralto, for her exquisite taste in repertoire, her range and command, for her primus inter pares position in relation to her rhythm section and the unique way she threads self-deprecating humour into her singing.

On the CD's opening tune, "Honeysuckle Rose", Dee's infectious swinging transforms the Razaf/Waller piece into a vehicle of joy. "Song For My Father", the old Horace Silver warhorse, is given a reverential reading, and drummer Kenny Washington Jr keeps the rhythmic line taut. This session feels like one of the Blue Note sessions of the 50s and 60s. The other musicians on the date are veterans of the business. Houston Person is his usual bluesy self on tenor saxophone, pianist Norman Simmons' chords and runs do justice to every situation, Benny Powell purrs and growls like a trombone tiger, and bassist John Clayton Jr keeps a steady hand on the till when the musical waters get too choppy.

Dee Daniels' strong suit is her gospel grounding which mightily informs her oeuvre. One gets a fulsome sense of this on listening to "Whom can I turn to", a standout impassioned gem on which she accompanies herself on piano with rich and inspired chords. Dusting off Hal David/Burt Bacharach's "The Look of Love", the group turns in one of the most polished performances on a cannily live-sounding studio-recorded set.

"Feels So Good" is a breath of fresh air in a world in which the jazz singer's repertoire is reduced - a la Peggy Lee, Billie Holiday, and lately Diana Krall - to little more than pillow talk and heartache. The infectiousness of the Daniels/Fleming-penned "Midlife Crisis", and the promise of commitment held in "Love is Here", are as refreshing as they are original.

American-born, Vancouver-based Dee Daniels, is one of Canada's best-kept secrets; Canucks should claim her quickly and rapturously.



Houston Person
Classy, bluesy, great musicianship, elegant, beautiful...and more! Dee Daniels - The jazz world's hidden treasure.

Benny Powell
Dee Daniels has surrounded herself with her musical friends who love and support her. I am honored and proud to be one of them. It was so great to watch the rhythm section work so quickly and efficiently together. John Clayton, Norman Simmons and Kenny Washington hooked up that stuff so intelligently and soulfully it was magic watching them. Standing next to Houston Person was a thrill for me. I've been a fan of his a long time, because he always plays the right notes for the situation. And Dee Daniels - Dee Daniels, one of my favorite people on this earth. To call her merely a vocalist is an understatement. Her performances jump off this CD straight into your blood stream. And "Midlife Crisis"... you won't forget it!!

John Clayton Jr.
This recording of Dee's finally shows her in an honest light, doing the 'Dee Thang.' Dee gave the most convincing performances I have ever heard her give on record. She was free and uninhibited. She had FUN with the music and it charged everyone in the room. Dee is beyond category, although her influences are apparent. She has the strength and power of someone with classical technique, her gospel influence leaps at you from her soul, her jazz swings, her repertoire and knowledge of American songs is expansive and she composes music and lyrics. Her vocal range is seemingly endless, something that many musicians marvel at about her. Having known Dee since 1980, it is a special pleasure to finally hear her on record the way I know her in live concerts: scintillating!

Norman Simmons
There have been two vocalists that I felt I could accompany when I first heard their recordings. Carmen McRae and Dakota Staton. Both because of how their feelings communicated to me. Accompaniment to me is not just a gig. It is a relationship. Houston Person reached for that relationship when he put the group together for Dee Daniels. When I hit the first note at rehearsal with her, it felt so good, and so right, and it got better as the ideas flowed and the other members of the group joined. It was not only her voice, her swing, her soul; but her musicianship as well. Our communication was fluid. She knew what the band was doing and what to do about it vocally. I was comfortable and confident playing for her. However, when she sat at the piano to demonstrate the feeling on 'Love Ain't Love Without You', I said to her, "You must play this one yourself." Her feelings on that song and her piano accompaniment was personal and deeper than I could reach. And, as we say in the Ghetto, "Lord, have mercy, it feels so good."

Kenny Washington
This wasn't just a typical recording session. It was a musical party among friends. Needless to say, I had a ball making music with Dee and these master musicians. Thanks for the good time Dee.



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