Diane Van Deurzen | I Never Knew

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Blues: Blues Vocals Moods: Solo Female Artist
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I Never Knew

by Diane Van Deurzen

Sweet, sultry, and oh, so sophisticated, Diane takes us on a journey through romantic ballads, heartwrenching torch songs, and tributes to Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Never Knew
4:57 $0.99
2. Autumn Leaves
4:12 $0.99
3. In the Dark
3:24 $0.99
4. Song That Can Never Be Sung
4:40 $0.99
5. A Kiss to Build a Dream On
3:53 $0.99
6. Where Time Stands Still
3:18 $0.99
7. A Sunday Kind of Love
4:13 $0.99
8. Do I Love You
3:33 $0.99
9. Exactly Like You
3:31 $0.99
10. Not While I'm Around
3:07 $0.99
11. That Lucky Old Sun
4:52 $0.99
12. Walk My Honey Path
2:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Diane Van Deurzen's debut CD, "I Never Knew", is a celebration of love, passion and poetry. Diane dedicates her work to the memory of her father, Paul Van Deurzen, a Dutch immigrant who taught Diane about the wonder of things and the importance of hard work. He also gave her a love for music. He would wake Diane and her seven siblings every morning, singing Mario Lanza's "Be My Love" before heading out to the paper mill in Combine Locks, Wisconsin, where he worked from the age of 11 until his death at age 63. He only missed two days of work, time he took to heal after
falling into a manhole and breaking two ribs. He worked hard to provide for his family. Even after a long day in extremely harsh conditions, Diane's father would whistle as he walked home. She would meet him at the curb and together they would sing the rest of the way home, hand in hand.

From the time she was a young girl, Diane's father played records for her and encouraged her to sing along to the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Shirley Horn, and Etta James. Her father was her greatest supporter,
attending as many of her performances as he could. When Diane started to sing professionally, he was also her greatest promoter, telling everyone at the mill and the supermarket and the pharmacy to hire his daughter to sing for their weddings and parties.

Diane pays tribute to her father in the song, "That Lucky Old Sun", and celebrates the great singers he introduced her to with songs like "A Sunday Kind of Love", "A Kiss to Build a Dream On" and "Exactly Like You".

Equal to Diane's love for music is her love for poetry. Diane's first grade teacher taught her class to read using the picture books of poet Eric Carle. She would sing the poems to her students. Her teacher brought the words to life so beautifully, Diane didn't need to look at the
pictures in the book. The words from her teacher's lips would paint pictures in her mind, inspiring her to write poetry of her own. Diane collected pictures from magazines, mostly of flowers, plants, and trees, but also of people expressing passion and intense sorrow. She taped these
pictures into her journal and wrote poems about them.

When Diane was in third grade, she discovered the poetry of Langston Hughes, after seeing his poem "Dream" on the wall of the principal's office. Her principal would also leave poetry books on the table for students to read while they waited to see her. Diane wanted to read more but wasn't allowed to check out books at that level from the library. She would sneak over to the sixth grade section, sit in the corner, and savor the words of Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and, later, Maya Angelou.

Poetry and music always went hand in hand for Diane. She says, "Poetry has verse, has rhythm, creates motion, and paints a picture. It is a song." "I Never Knew" includes two of Diane's poems- the title track and "Walk My Honey Path", a botanical lesson on love. Both poems were set to music by Lisa Otey, who co-produced the CD with Diane on Otey's label, Owl's Nest Productions. They sing "I Never Knew" together and are joined by more of the Desert Divas on "Walk My Honey Path." Diva Hurricane Carla also
contributed an original song for Diane, "A Song That Can Never Be Sung."

Passion is the essence of Diane's life, her work, her music, and her poetry. She approaches every moment with enthusiasm and sensuality, noticing every detail, and embracing every opportunity to express her creativity. That same feeling of intimacy and passion is present in "I Never Knew." Diane takes us on ajourney of romantic ballads, discovering and embracing our heart's desire, to heartwrenching torch songs, lamenting a love that can never be, to tributes to her favorite jazz and blues singers, Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James. Backed by Lisa Otey, piano; Steve Grams, bass; and Fabrice Bessouat, drums, Diane embraces her audience with her sweet, sultry, and oh, so sophisticated sound and walks us down her honey path to a place we never knew.



to write a review

Gene Armstrong, Tucson Weekly

Van Deurzen's one of the finest instinctually pure singers I have heard since Ka
Idealized romanticism, frank sensuality and a realistic sense of heartbreak are some of the themes among the original tunes and standards performed by Tucson jazz-pop torch singer Diane Van Deurzen on her debut album.
Van Deurzen's originals, the lush title track and sly, sexy "Walk My Honey Path," co-written with pianist Lisa Otey, are the real deal--sterling examples of cabaret charm imbued with Van Deurzen's delicate, perfectly modulated and controlled--but also slightly bluesy--vocals.

"Song That Can Never Be Sung," written by saxophonist Carla Brownlee, offers a warm, comforting jazz meditation with masterly piano trio accompaniment by Otey, bassist Steve Grams and especially drummer Fabrice Bessouat, whose restrained style is ideal for this material.

Although her style recalls the classic jazz divas, Van Deurzen actually can turn a phrase with the precision and warm intimacy of Karen Carpenter. Van Deurzen's one of the finest instinctually pure singers I have heard since that hallowed '70s pop stylist.

She carefully treads the thin line that separates endearing torch-carrying from obsessive love, as on "A Kiss to Build a Dream On," or "Where Time Stands Still," in which remorse and regret are tempered by fond memories.

The deliciously languorous "A Sunday Kind of Love" hearkens back to a time when class and sophistication characterized the best jazz singers. Perhaps the finest and most heartfelt track is "That Lucky Old Sun," in which Van Deurzen flirts with a gospel soulfulness, and Otey plays rich chords that sound as if they were transported to 2007 from the antebellum South.

Scott Barker, Tucson Lifestyles

warm and soothing, effortless control
Some things never go out of style, like the classic combination of a talented jazz quartet performing heartfelt love songs. Tucsonan Diane Van Deurzen proves that point on her latest release, I Never Knew (Owl's Nest Productions). Backed by the multi-talented Lisa Otey, Steve Grams and Fabrice Bessouat, Van Deurzen's voice is warm and soothing, pouring out the lyrics with effortless control. She shows great skill in choosing standards, like the haunting "Autumn Leaves," the wistful "A Sunday Kind of Love," or even the dramatic "Not While I'm Around" from Sondheim's wonderfully macabre Sweeney Todd. Without ever getting syrupy, Van Deurzen manages to pack a lot of emotion into her delivery (many young singers would do well to listen to her version of "That Lucky Old Sun" for notes on how to do that). She is very well served by the instrumentation on this album, especially the piano accompaniment. Fans of Lisa Otey know that she has boogie-woogie chops that can knock you out, but she also is brilliant at the subtle stuff, laying in a delicate melody line that perfectly reflects the meaning of each song. Grams' bass lines, and Bessouat's understated percussion work add layers of meaning, creating a sonic painting that is expertly captured by Jim Brady's mix. Covers aside, Van Deurzen also shows that she has solid songwriting talents with the title track and "Walk My Honey Path," which spotlights Carla Brownlee, Liz McMahon and Regina Wills (and features the powerfully evocative lyrics, "When I sleep, I open my window/ And I beg the moon to press its face against mine/ I invite you to breathe me in/ Press your lips against me/ Close.")