Vocalist Monique Danielle enters the jazz arena with Smile, a new CD loaded with jazz and pop standards.
The Kansas City native sounds like an old pro, turning in 14 outstanding tracks. With perfect intonation and a crystal voice, Danielle demonstrates her considerable skills from song to song.
She also shows exquisite taste in her choice of numbers, dipping into the songbooks of Gershwin, Jobim, Porter, and Bacharach.
A highlight is Danielle’s take on "The Look of Love," a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. She turns the pop gem into a sultry Latin-flavored number, with the help of a delicately played acoustic guitar.
For the most part, other songs on the CD are given a straight-ahead treatment, and that’s a good thing. These songs don't need a lot of tinkering.The CD benefits from tasteful arrangements, which allow Danielle’s strong, clear voice to take center stage. She shines on "At Last" and "What a Difference a Day Makes." On "A Child is Born," Danielle is accompanied only by piano, creating an intimate moment to close the disc.
Smile, which gets its name from the Charlie Chaplin tune that opens the recording, is Danielle’s first CD of jazz standards. She has recorded four other discs and has sung an eclectic mix of music, ranging from rhythm and blues to reggae. She performs in and around Kansas City.