Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 4, No. 2, 2005

  Current Issue  
  Back Issues  
Robert J. Lewis
  Contributing Editors
Bernard Dube
Phil Nixon
Mark Goldfarb
Robert Rotondo
  Music Editor
Emanuel Pordes
  Arts Editor
Marissa Consiglieri de Chackal
Mady Bourdage
Emanuel Pordes
  Past Jazz Contributors

Tommy Emmanuel
John Stetch
Susie Arioli
Coral Egan
Diana Krall
Stacey Kent
Carol Welsman
Aldo Romano







Piano Keyboard


by Robert J. Lewis

Featured artist: DENZAL SINCLAIRE

Despite his vegetarian status, Vancouver crooner Denzal Sinclaire releases his lyrics as if they were honed and toned in the tantalizing drip of succulent barbecue fat. And then, when we least expect it, it occurs to us that his vibrant voce is positively something else in the way it evokes not so much moods, but exquisite intimacies that disarm us with their soft light and quiet elegance. While some singers use music in order to lose themselves, Denzal’s repertoire allows him to discover and reveal himself, and makes his listeners seek out the person as much as the performer.

The harder they strive, the harder they fall is the lesson learned from the legions of upwardly mobile singers who lost their vital center trying to ape and emulate their idols and influences. Denzal’s triumph, in part, derives from consistently rising to the occasion of staying within himself, turning the music he loves into mostly endearing self portraits. His interpretations of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and Black Bird, from his first album, I Found Love, will make you all but forget your favorite versions.

Comparing the voice to a delivery system, and with a nod from critics on both sides of the 49th, Sinclaire has definitely learned how to make the American Songbook serve his vision. Reeves and Krall are among his fans, and you can hear him singing They Didn't Believe Me and Mad About the Boy in the film Being Julia. But he is at his best when he goes out on a limb, risking it all to make an enduring musical statement. After Torme, Sinatra and Connick, we only thought we knew everything about Rogers and Hart’s timeless Where or When -- until Denzal melts it down to its essence in the crucible of his not-to-be-stilled beating heart. Combining plaintive voice with midnight bass, the song hangs together by a slender thread of raw nerve and bated breath, with both singer and bassist totally exposed, to the effect that this version has to be a serious candidate for best jazz interpretation of the year. No wonder the prestigious Verve label (Ella, Billie, Louis) added Denzal to their team, a sure indicator that here is a singer whose star is not consigned to Canadian skies only.

Denzal Sinclaire is the title of his latest album, featuring Exactly Like You, I’ve Got Rhythm, Be My Love, How Glad I Am and four originals.

Listen to Denzal sing WHERE OR WHEN



John Coltrane
Miles Davis
Thelonius Monk
Charlie Mingus
Oscar Peterson
Charlie Parker
Dizzy Gillespie
Wes Montgomery
Valid HTML 4.01!
Privacy Statement Contact Info
Copyright 2002 Robert J. Lewis