Monique Danielle: Smile




Monique Danielle (vocals)


Smile (Markosa Records)

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Monique Danielle (vocals),

Stanton Kessler (flugelhorn), Roger Wilder (piano), Dan S. (vibes), Danny Embrey (guitar), James Albright (bass), Rod Lincoln (drums)


Composed by Charles Chaplin, John Turner & Geoffrey Parsons


Recorded: Roeland Park, KS, May 2008


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

At, we review individual cuts in order to bring a more in-depth insight into the jazz canon we so admire. I don't know how other reviewers at do their thing. But often while I am writing a review, the CD continues to play the remaining songs. My ear memory recalls the subject piece so I have no trouble typing away my strong opinions as different music plays away in the background. But sometimes the remaining music is so compelling that my unbreakable stream of thought is broken and I must stop the task at hand to listen more fully. This is good for my musical enjoyment but not so good for my wallet. I get paid by the word. The more words I can write in the least amount of time, the better. So you know by now I had to stop writing this review and concentrate on what else Ms. Monique was offering. Damn. Though I am reviewing only one cut, I want you to know that I absolutely loved the whole album.

"Smile" isn't even my favorite number. "The Look of Love" is. It is wonderfully arranged and creatively performed in sort of a Spanish mode. But I can't call that piece jazz. "Smile," like many other tunes on the album, would fall under the same jazz category we allow Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dinah Washington, et al. Everyone is familiar with this standard. So the best thing for me to say is that Monique Danielle has been blessed with a wonderful voice and the intuitive skills and taste to put that voice to its best use. There is not a hint of pretense in her interpretation. Music is about honesty after all. Surrounding herself with very good musicians and having the benefit of superlative arrangements doesn't hurt either. I unhesitatingly sing the praises of Monique Danielle and recommend that you listen to her immediately.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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  • 1 Toni // Sep 11, 2008 at 04:09 AM
    I wholeheartedly agree. She's got a glorious instrument and has put together a tasteful project.
  • 2 Freddy // Sep 11, 2008 at 04:37 AM
    No doubt. I've listened to this CD many times now. "The Look of Love" is my favorite cut as well. She's obviously someone to keep an eye on.
  • 3 Richard Held // Oct 21, 2008 at 12:27 PM
    As a Kansas City resident, I'm pressed to imagine a stronger ensemble of musicians, even here in the heartland of jazz - lead by a true artist and a genuinely kind woman. We love this product.