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Having To Ask by Deanna Witkowski

Deanna Witkowski was totally unfamiliar to me when I received this CD. In my usual manner, I follow a certain ritual while reviewing a new item. The CD is slipped into my computer for a preliminary "listen" while I indulge in a game of computer solitaire. The first couple of tracks went by and I began to lose interest in my game. By track 4, the solitaire was history and I moved the CD to my main audio system.

Deanna is a world class jazz pianist and at age 28, must be considered another of the young lions in jazz today. Her solo rendition of Oscar Levant's "Blame It On My Youth" is superb and is probably the finest performance of the song that I have ever experienced. The CD includes 10 tracks and eight are Deanna's original compositions. She also is a fine vocalist and sings on two tunes.

Her group is composed of Jim Gailloreto - sop/tenor/flute, Jonathan Paul - bass, Rob Amster - bass on some tunes, Tom Hipskind -drums and Jose Gregorio - percussion. All are great musicians but Gailloreto and Hipskind are outstanding.

In my humble opinion, this is a faultless album. This is contemporary material played with a truckload of soul and will appeal to most fans of post-mainstream jazz.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Deanna Witkowski
  • CD Title: Having To Ask
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 1998
  • Record Label: Tilapia Records
  • Rating: Five Stars
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