"Summertime Lullaby" the latest release from pianist, vocalist and arranger Peggy Duquesnel is a satisfying collection of originals and standards executed by a very capable pianist and a lineup of talented West Coast players.
Duquesnel is a noted pianist and for my money that is the power of this work. Her arrangements of the standards and her own work are presented in well executed two hand style reminiscent of the stride greats of the past. She interprets the standard changes and passages with a flair for the dynamic and a fullness that injects energy into each piece.
In her own compositions, Duquesnel demonstrates a sensitivity and lyrical competence on par with her piano skills, but lacks the vocal strength to totally sell them. "Summertime Lullaby", "In the Quiet Hours", "Promised Land" and "Drivin' Blues" are all entertaining pieces but lack the vocal or emotional energy that the lyrics and underlying compositions would benefit from. The strength of this CD is the collection of standards and the skill of the musicians on the disc.
"Satin Doll" and "Take the "A" Train" were two of my favorites on the CD. This is where Duquesnel shines, full out execution of her arrangements of these great standards.
I did not find the power in the vocals that these legendary songs demand. That being said, I thought the music was well executed and made for enjoyable listening.