Happy New Year!
To purchase the new recording "Blossom-ing!" please click on the photo of the album here https://robertadonnay.com/music/?id=10
Village Jazz Cafe released "Blossom-ing!" October 21, 2022. "Blossom-ing!" Celebrates the Music of Blossom Dearie *
All CDs are now on sale here!
The new record is now climbing jazz radio charts!
Some recent reviews:
"Emotional and sultry, witty and warm, and everything you could wish to hear in a vocal jazz album. This is a work of extraordinary charm and beauty." - The Jazz Owl
"Award-winning ROBERTA DONNAY’s newest album, BLOSSOM-ing!, celebrates the music of Blossom Dearie, whose wispy, delicate voice is the perfect foil for Donnay’s own appealing sound. Music critic Bob Leggett called Donnay’s voice “pure sugar and honey,” while JazzTimes said, “With her singularly enticing sound, few contemporary vocalists are as well suited to dustily vintage material as jazz-blues stylist Roberta Donnay."
The new recording features Mike Greensill-piano, Ruth Davies-bass, Mark Lee-drums, Jose' Neto-guitar, David Sturdevant-harmonica on "Spring In Manhattan", MB Gordy-percussion on "Inside A Silent Tear".
To donate to the cause: Venmo: @Roberta-Donnay or PayPal: paypal.me/robertadonnay
Music Log by Michael Doherty
“There is something so adorable and seductive about Roberta Donnay’s delivery that I just melt. Roberta Donnay’s vocal performance has an endearing honesty.”
Roberta Donnay is an accomplished jazz vocalist and composer. On her latest album, Blossom-ing!, she celebrates the music of Blossom Dearie, covering songs that Blossom performed during her career. Roberta Donnay’s incredibly appealing voice is perfect for the task. Joining her on this release are Mike Greensill on piano, Ruth Davies on bass, Mark Lee on drums, and Jose Neto on guitar, with a couple of guest musicians on certain tracks.
This album opens with a cover of “Blossom’s Blues,” here titled “Roberta’s Blues.” The song’s first lines will be familiar to Grateful Dead fans, for they are a variation on lines from “New Minglewood Blues,” which was written by Noah Lewis and covered by the Dead throughout the band’s thirty-year career. “My name is Roberta, I was raised in a lion’s den/Now my name is Roberta, I was raised in a lion’s den/My nightly occupation is stealing other women’s men.” This is a playful, totally enjoyable tune, delivered with a smooth, sweet, sexy style. It has a kind of relaxed approach which is endearing. “Some men like me ‘cause I’m snappy/Some think I’m happy/Some call me honey/Some think I’ve got money.” Plus, this track features some delicious work on bass. That’s followed by “Peel Me A Grape,” a song written by Dave Frishberg and included on Blossom Dearie’s 1967 album Sweet Blossom Dearie. There is something so adorable and seductive about Roberta Donnay’s delivery here that I just melt. “Best way to cheer me, cashmere me/I’m a-getting hungry, peel me a grape.” And who could deny her when she sings “When I say do it, jump to it”? And the music has such a cool vibe, this track featuring some wonderful work on guitar. “Never out-think me, just mink me/Polar bear rug me, don’t bug me.”
As with Blossom Dearie’s 1958 rendition, Roberta Donnay’s recording of Cole Porter’s “Just One Of Those Things” begins with a great bass line. Though it is different from that on the Blossom Dearie record; here it is slowed down. As Roberta Donnay sings, “Trip to the moon on gossamer wings,” you can imagine her possessing those wings herself. The pace then soon picks up, and there is some absolutely delightful work on piano during that fast-paced instrumental section. MB Gordy joins Roberta Donnay on percussion on “Inside A Silent Tear,” one of only a couple of tracks on this release that Blossom Dearie co-wrote (this one with Peter King). It’s a pretty song with a gentle Latin groove. There is an intimate quality to Roberta Donnay’s vocals on this one. “I am always finding love when it’s not meant to be/What is reality and can it be defined.” Things then get swinging with “Plus Je T’embrasse,” which is sung in French. There is a sweet joy in her delivery, and her performance ought to get you smiling. This track also features good leads on both guitar and piano.
I say it often, but you can never go wrong with Gershwin. On this disc, Roberta Donna covers “Someone To Watch Over Me,” one of my personal favorites of the material written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. Blossom Dearie included it on her My Gentleman Friend album from 1959. Like that recording, this version begins with the vocals supported only by piano and bass in that opening section. Roberta Donnay delivers a wonderful rendition. It is gentle and moving. It’s followed by “Moonlight Saving Time,” which was included on Blossom Dearie’s Once Upon A Summertime. (It is also listed as “(There Ought To Be A) Moonlight Savin’ Time,” and on this disc it is listed as “Moonlight Savings Time.”) This track might contain the disc’s most delightful vocal performance. And of course we’ve been thinking of Daylight Saving Time lately, for wasn’t there a bill that was supposed to make it permanent? Well, until then, bring on Moonlight Saving Time. Something about this track’s bass line makes me smile. “A Paris” is the other song co-written by Blossom Dearie, this one with Tony Proteau. It is a pretty number, sung in French, with warmth to the piano work.
The bass gets thing moving on “The Party’s Over,” a song Blossom Dearie included on Sings Comden And Green. “Now you must wake up/All your dreams must end/Take off your makeup/The party’s over/It’s over, my friend.” Well, the party may be over, but from her approach, it seems there is still something to celebrate. Something good remains. Life goes on, and we’ll keep on dancing, party or no party. That’s followed by “If I Were A Bell,” a song written by Frank Loesser. When she sings, “Well, sir, all I can say is if I were a gate, I’d be swinging,” on the word “swinging,” she gives us that sense of swing. But she is most adorable when imitating the bell: “ding dong ding dong ding.” I also like how the piano and bass work together at certain moments. Then “Spring In Manhattan” begins in a warm, loving, mellow place, Roberta Donnay’s voice supported by piano. During the instrumental section, the others come in, and there is some nice work on guitar. Following that section, her vocals are also supported by some sweet work on harmonica. That’s David Sturdevant on harmonica.
Roberta Donnay delivers a pretty, intimate rendition of “Unless It’s You.” On this track, we hear something vulnerable in her voice. “You know I’ll stay/I always do/For what is love to me/Unless it’s you.” That’s followed by “You Fascinate Me So,” the first of two tracks composed by Carolyn Leigh and Cy Coleman. I love the sweet and pretty sound of Roberta’s vocal performance here, and how the guitar and piano seem to match that. There is a wonderful warmth to her voice on “I Wish You Love,” and I feel that just by listening, we will receive the thing she wishes for us in this song. “I wish you shelter from the storm/A cozy fire to keep you warm/But most of all/When snowflakes fall/I wish you love.” The second of two songs written by Carolyn Leigh and Cy Coleman is “It Amazes Me,” and Roberta Donnay’s vocal performance has an endearing honesty. “It amazes me/It simply amazes me/What you see in me/Dazzles me, dazes me.” The album then concludes with “Put On A Happy Face,” a song Blossom Dearie included on her 1964 album May I Come In? (where it was also the closing track). We can always use a little optimism, and this track provides it. And Roberta Donnay’s voice is the perfect one to deliver it. I believe good things are coming while listening to this track. “Gray skies are going to clear up/Put on a happy face/Brush off the clouds and cheer up/Put on a happy face/Take off the gloomy mask of tragedy/It’s not your style.”
CD Track List
- Roberta’s Blues
- Peel Me A Grape
- Just One Of Those Things
- Inside A Silent Tear
- Plus Je T’embrasse
- Someone To Watch Over Me
- Moonlight Savings Time
- A Paris
- The Party’s Over
- If I Were A Bell
- Spring In Manhattan
- Unless It’s You
- You Fascinate Me So
- I Wish You Love
- It Amazes Me
- Put On A Happy Face
Blossom-ing! was released on October 21, 2022.
"A fixture at jazz clubs, theaters, concert venues and jazz festivals for more than three decades, Donnay is paying tribute to legendary jazz singer and pianist Blossom Dearie with her new album. Dearie, who passed away in 2009 in Greenwich Village, collaborated with such music icons as Johnny Mercer, Miles Davis and Johnny Mandel. Donnay's singing voice, once described as "pure sugar and honey" by respected music critic Bob Leggett, is ideal to match the light and girlish stylings of Dearie, whose songs have been featured in such recent motion pictures and TV series as Kissing Jessica Stein, My Life Without Me, The Squid and the Whale, The Adventures of Felix, The Artist, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Call The Midwife and Can You Ever Forgive Me. Donnay chose 16 songs associated with Dearie for the album, written by diverse composers and lyricists. Drawn years ago to Blossom Dearie for her simple but swinging storytelling, BLOSSOM-ing! is a true labor of love for Donnay. Dearie was a minimalist with a kittenish voice and a playful style. Donnay's homage to Dearie captures her essence, but she adds her own sassy, bluesy interpretations that audiences have come to love." ~ The Jazz Owl
Click here for Lyric Video of "Peel Me A Grape"
Please check the calendar for CD release shows and upcoming Prohibition Mob shows :)
Review of Show @ Chelsea Table & Stage NYC October 2022 with the Prohibition Mob Band
Autumn In New York.. And other places (November 12-21, 2021) Concert Reviews, Frontpage by Thomas Cunliffe. November 23, 2021
Roberta Donnay at the Birdland Theatre. Photo by Thomas Cunliffe.
The second set at Birdland that night featured Roberta Donnay and the Prohibition Mob from San Francisco. This was clearly a stage revue, with the musicians all dressed in fedoras and period costumes, and vocalist Donnay appearing in a form-fitting floor-length dress that could have been lifted out of Mae West's closet. Still, these players are jazz musicians to the core, and they played this music (dating from 1911-1939) with great energy and meticulous attention to stylistic detail. Trumpeter Darren "The Lip" Johnston and trombonist Ric "Throw 'em in the River" Becker played short, concise solos over the tight rhythm team of Marcus "Knuckle Sandwich" Persiani, bassist/arranger Sam "Shotgun" Bevan, and drummer Dave "Sticks" Gibson. Donnay's vocal delivery was charming and seductive. Her musicianship reveals that she is not as ditzy as her stage persona indicates, as she brings great understanding to the lyrics, both comic and serious. Near the end of the set, Donnay brought up her friend Kay Kostopoulos dressed as a member of a harem and sporting two pairs of finger cymbals. Her solo on "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" was as close to finger cymbal virtuosity as I've ever heard (and if she wasn't also from the Bay Area, I'd claim this as an "only in New York" moment!) Like the Oswalt band preceding it, Donnay's Prohibition Mob offered an entertaining show as educational as it was delightful."
Next review here is from Andrew Poretz from "The Theatre Pizzazz" :
Exciting News! "Acting Like Nothing Is Wrong" is the feature documentary about the inspirational journey of actor Jim Hoffmaster. Nekujak and I scored this wonderful film. This is a joyful project. and we're so grateful to creatively contribute to this poignant film. Jane Rosemont, the award-winning director, brings Jim's touching story to life. You might remember Jane's previous film "Pie Lady Of Pie Town", which gathered a plethora of film festival awards. We're so excited to be working with this brilliant talent. The film is now showing at film festivals around the US.
We're booking in-person shows again. Please check back here for more announcements, or, if you'd like a monthly update, please sign up for our newsletter.
If you want to book us for an outdoor concert, please contact us: email@example.com
Please be safe, stay well, and keep the faith!
A very fun interview with Cathy Segal-Garcia from August 2020 is here: https://www.facebook.com/cathysegalgarcia/videos/10157287034130741
"After two very enjoyable CDs of music from the 1920s-30s, Roberta Donnay and her Prohibition Mob Band continue their exploration of early jazz and swing with a tribute to one of the most influential figures in all of jazz. Donnay is possibly the first female singer to record a full-length project devoted exclusively to Louis Armstrong.
For My Heart Belongs To Satchmo, Roberta Donnay & the Prohibition Mob Band revive 15 songs from Armstrong's career. Avoiding the obvious hits, Donnay performs both superior obscurities and personal favorites.
"'My Heart Belongs To Satchmo' is such a joyful project for me," adds Donnay, "I wanted to capture the heart of Satchmo and the love that we have of his music." Ms. Donnay, her arrangers, and the musicians of the Prohibition Mob Band succeed at paying a loving tribute to the great Satchmo." - Scott Yanow, jazz journalist/historian
Check out this..
CD "My Heart Belongs To Satchmo" released 2018, on Blujazz. Produced by Roberta Donnay, Sam Bevan, Matt Wong. Arranged by Matt Wong, Sam Bevan, Roberta Donnay, except for Pennies From Heaven: Instruments arranged by Sam Bevan, Vocal Arrangement by Roberta Donnay, Annie Stocking, and Dan Hicks (with new and additional lyrics by Dan Hicks).
Prohibition Mob Band: Roberta Donnay-vocals, John R. Burr-piano, Sam Bevan-bass, Deszon Claiborne-drums, Rich Armstrong-cornet / trumpet, Mike Rinta-trombone, Sheldon Brown-clarinet, Matt Baxter-guitar
Featured July 2018 Issue of DownBeat Magazine:
To purchase music:
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for info and Bookings.
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BOB DOROUGH ~ ROBERTA DONNAY
- New Jazz Recording to be released (we don't have a release date) -
Here's the back story:
We're so very excited to announce this
Previously Unreleased Recording
Bob Dorough & Roberta Donnay's version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is again hit radio airwaves this Holiday Season.
Upcoming EP features Bob Dorough’s compositions, some never heard, along with a few reimagined numbers formerly recorded by Bob Dorough and Blossom Dearie.
Bob Dorough first met Roberta Donnay backstage at The Hooker’s Ball in San Francisco many years ago, where they both performed. Bob told her he dug her singing. Donnay asked him “What’s YOUR name?” “Bob Dorough” and she replied “THE Bob Dorough?” And he replied,“You mean you know who I am?
Donnay recorded two Bob Dorough songs “Devil May Care” and “Small Day Tomorrow” on her “What’s Your Story”
CD, produced by Jazz Master Orrin Keepnews featuring Eric Reed Trio (2008, Pacific Coast Jazz) .
Keepnews phoned Donnay one day and told her Bob said he played Donnay's version of “Small Day Tomorrow”
3 times a day every day in his car, and that it was his favorite version ever recorded.
Bob did some shows touring with “Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks” and came to hear them when they were near his hometown. Dan and Bob were big fans of one another. Donnay sang with Dan’s group 2005-2016.
One day Richard Connolly, Producer, Circumstancial Productions, came backstage and told Donnay he wanted to do a recording with Bob and her.
In January 2011, Donnay flew to NJ, rented a car, drove to rural Pennsylvania to Bob’s house, and rehearsed for the recording. The following nite after rehearsal, they performed together at The Deer Head Inn, local jazz club, and the day after that they were at a studio in NY, recording live.
Bob told Donnay that his wish was for them to tour together.
The recording sat for all these many (8) years.
We're sad to say our amazing friend Bob Dorough passed on April 23, 2018.
We hope you enjoy this!
In 2019 Bob Dorough received the NEA Jazz Masters Awards.
Bob Dorough NEA Jazz Masters Award link: https://www.arts.gov/honors/jazz/bob-dorough
Check out the video on the new video page!
Video: "My Heart Belongs To Satchmo":
ROBERTA DONNAY & The PROHIBITION MOB BAND are available for Performing Arts Centers, Festivals, special events, tours and house concerts. Ms. Donnay is available for recording sessions, production, songwriting, music supervision, workshops, coaching, and consultations. For bookings, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Management Eddy Bee: email@example.com
To see more videos, please go to our Video page here or search YouTube.com - Roberta Donnay
Contact us if you'd like to host a house concert for the touring group: firstname.lastname@example.org
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"[Roberta Donnay's] engagement with the lyrics,
her supple sense of time and her soulful, little-girl timbre remind you of Billie Holiday."
-Mike Zwerin, International Herald Tribune.
"Roberta Donnay & the Prohibition Mob Band present a modern
take of the hot swingin' jazz and sultry blues of the 1920s and 30s that
will make you want to dance all night!" - Verdi Club
"With her singularly enticing sound, few contemporary vocalists are
as well suited to dustily vintage material as jazz-blues stylist Roberta Donnay.."
- JAZZ TIMES
"Roberta Donnay is a Jazz Age preservationist, guardian of Depression-era sounds, and extender of traditions...." – All About Jazz
Donnay's voice could make any classic material sound wondrous and timeless, but the fact that she digs so
deep into American musical history -- and works with some of the Bay Area's top jazz musicians (under the
guise of the Prohibition Mob Band) -- makes A Little Sugar not only sweet, but a recording that will stand the
test of time. - All Music Guide
Vocalist Roberta Donnay turned the swank Bel Air nightclub into a Roaring 20s speakeasy as she brought back
the music and moxie from the Golden Age of jazz with her Prohibition Mob. As she’s displayed on her two
albums, Ms Donnay’s allegiance is to the easy and accessible two beat swing of Tin Pan Alley, the kind that Al
Capone might have enjoyed after a night of going out with the boys. - Jazz Weekly
Musicians can take on the role of anthropologist, curious about what came before in music and how musicians
reflected their world around them. Award-winning vocalist and songwriter Roberta Donnay is that rare species
of musician who almost lives in another time, as she and her Prohibition Mob Band exist to revive the Jazz Age
of America. – Motema
All photos by Eddy Bee Images: http://www.eddybeeimages.com/