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With Love by Danita Mumphard

With Love is a tribute to Danita Mumphard’s vocal elasticity. She has a beautiful sound and moves through her range with tremendous fluidity. The recording vacillates stylistically through jazz, pop and soul. Not coincidentally, Ms. Mumphard is also a recorded gospel artist (Eternally) and uses gospel/soul inflections as much as, if not more than, traditional jazz inflections. Although she doesn’t spend much time in her lower range, it’s rich and full of color. One of the highlights of Ms. Mumphard’s singing is her ability to negotiate very large intervallic leaps flawlessly. She executes difficult technical feats while sounding utterly effortless.

After the standard-like original composition "Great Is Your Love," the album quickly turns to some pop/soul pieces. Her voice has enough strength and flexibility to sustain the songs without the synthesized sounds that dominate "When I Fall in Love" and "Wait Until the Time is Right." However, the rubato verse of "When I Fall in Love" is lovely.

Ms. Mumphard returns to a more straight ahead jazz feel with "With You I’m Born Again" and a lovely arrangement of "Skylark," which has some moments of more jazz -like vocal colors.

"A House is Not a Home" and "Fever" are sure crowd pleasers. There’s something quite old-fashioned about both these versions, even with the addition of overdubbed pop-girl-group style background vocals on "Fever." Her scatting is also well within the comfort zone of most jazz audiences; accurate, bluesy and rarely chromatic or dissonant.

"Send One Your Love" is a return to a more smooth jazz feel. Although this does not swing like "Great is Your Love," the chord changes pay tribute to Stevie Wonder.

"Everything Must Change" begins with a short spoken word segment that illustrates the earnestness of Ms. Mumphard’s message of acceptance and positivism. The lyrics of the originals don’t, on the whole, break new ground, but do ensure marketability with a larger audience.

There really are two records here, one of standards and one of pop tunes. The recording ends with a blues much in the same swinging style of "Great is Your Love." The lively scatting and irrepressible energy make this a perfect conclusion to an eclectic listening experience.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Danita Mumphard
  • CD Title: With Love
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Stratosphere Music Group
  • Musicians: Trio Tres Bien: Jeter Thompson (piano), Harold Thompson (bass), Howard Thompson (drums)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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