Denise Stewart

 

 

Decide On Me

When one talks about the guitarist Craig T. Cooper and his music, one also has to mention his female singer Denise Stewart. Since his first album Craig T. Cooper Project (1989) she takes part in his musical successes as featured lead vocalist. Now for the first time she debuts with her album Decide On Me, which was written by Denise Stewart together with Craig T. Cooper and William Parker.

One can classify her album as quality independent soul with elements of Smooth Jazz. It's not the 8th album of Craig T. Cooper, although his musical influence on this album is indisputable. Nevertheless friends of Craig's music, will also like this album.

Nobody Else Will Do is a grooving dance-floor starter with a kicking rhythm provoking the wish for an immediate dance. Denise Stewart's vocals are fresh and strong. She is obviously an experienced singer with a broad repertoire of styles.

Running Away, a midtempo love-ballade is the neverending story about an affecionate woman, filled from longing after her sweetheart. Denise convinces. By the way her husband is her best friend and her worst enemy (?).

Let me know is an awesome love song in the typical Craig T. Cooper-style. Anew Denise impresses with her smooth, warm and tender voice.

Drifting reveals a little more sharp expression of Denise's voice precise like Al Jarreau or Chaka Khan. Denise is covering Chaka's songs from time to time.

With Love is one recognizes the same accurate interpretation harmonically accompanied by Craig's instrumentation. On this piece she develops her song to a solo with emphatic scatting elements.

The title song Decide On Me showcases that Denise can catch the highest tones without any efforts. She does it bountifully and in a breathtaking way.

More uptempo comes the next piece One Of These Things. Craig shows that he isn't only a great guitarist but also a fantastic keyboardist and his knowledge of drum-machines is unbeatable. One listens to them in all variations.

Fortunately he plays the guitar on I'll Never Forget. I cannot resist his Gibson since his first album. The combination of Craig's guitar and  Denise 's vocals is pure dream stuff.

Slowing down to the relaxing I Love It When You Say gives the opportunity to a new experience. Let creep it softly under your skin. How can a woman sing so sensually? 

The Night Before is another tune about relationship and the eternal problams caused by it.

Begin Again is the one and only rich-instrumentalized tune in the classic style as one knows it by Diana Ross and the Supremes and other interprets of the Motown label. 

On Oh How I Love Denise shows again her loud-voiceness with a great chorus background. Dramatically good.

I Got A Lover is the unfortunately failed attempt to transfer modernistic into the otherwise successful album. 

Nevertheless my resume is clear: This album is for all lovers of tender and expressive vocal performance.

HBH

 

 

The musicians:
  • Denise Stewart - All lead and background vocals, keyboards (4, 5, 12)
  • May Hall - Additional background vocals (12)
  • Elaine Gibbs - Additional background vocals (12)
  • Craig T. Cooper - All instruments
  • Kevin Brandon  - Guitar (11)
  • Larry Ball - Bass (11)
  • Vanessa Burch - Piano (11)
  • Quintin DeNard - Drums (11)
  • Talita Long - Background Vocals (11)
Further informations