Dena DeRose: All My Love


All My Love


Dena DeRose (piano, vocals)


A Walk In The Park (MaxJazz 502)

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Dena DeRose (piano, vocals),

Martin Wind (bass), Matt Wilson (drums)


Composed by Al Jolson, Saul Chaplin & Harry Akst.


Recorded: Brooklyn, New York, September 25 or 26, 2004


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

Dena DeRose is a gifted pianist and vocalist, and she has exceptional taste in songs. I'm forever beholden to her for re-discovering and recording “All My Love”, a gloriously beautiful song written by Al Jolson. Its simple melody sounds like an old Russian-Jewish folk song and its lyric, while straight-forward, contains marvelous word construction on the bridge. DeRose’s recording of the song is intense and passionate. Starting with a classically-styled piano introduction, the dramatic mood sets in with Wilson’s mallets on toms and cymbals over a stark vamp by DeRose and Wind. DeRose keeps her first vocal chorus simple, letting the song speak for itself. There is great conviction in her reading of the lyric, and it’s very clear that this song holds great personal meaning for her. Next, Wind plays a wondrous arco bass solo. At first listen, it sounds like he is having technical issues with his instrument as he jumps between the lower and higher octave, but it is more likely that he is doing this deliberately to evoke the sound of a Eastern European violinist. When DeRose returns, the big ending we may have anticipated starts to build. Yet, here DeRose uses the marvelous lyric of the bridge to protract the ending. The lyric reads “And our dreams untold that were so ideal/Will all fade as we make them real”. The turnaround of mood of fatalism to optimism is quite remarkable, and DeRose accentuates this on the word “fade”: as she holds the note, the buildup behind her suddenly dissipates. Then she starts the buildup again in the last eight bars. The final section of the recording is emotionally overwhelming with Wind’s arco bass returning in an improvised obbligato with DeRose before the performance winds down.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe


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