on the street where you live

Donna Deussen & The Paul Weitz Trio

THANK GOD A JAZZ SINGER FINALLY COVERED CALIFORNIA DREAMIN AND DID IT A RIGHTEOUS!!! I've been waiting for that for four decades! Donna Deussen knocks it screaming out of the ballpark. John Philips, were he still with us, would be exultant. Ah, but let's not stop at Johnny 'cause the very next cut is Steely Dan's Do Wrong Shoes, and Don Fagen's gonna go into rapture when he hears this version. As I've been noting for some time now, it's well past the moment the successors to The Great American Songbook were covered, and that sentiment's slowly spreading to the jazz world, Deussen making excellent contributions (her take on Joni's Both Sides Now isn't radicalized but it's very very sweet, even to the point of multi-tracking a duet with herself, and I love it when singers do that). Deussen's version of On the Street Where You Live is OUTSTANDING (geez, I better knock off the capitalizations or the whole review is going to be nothing but!), taking the chestnut sprinting down to the end of the pier and jumping off to dance the Lindy Hop with amped-up mermaids, swingin' and then some. You have not, I guaranfuckingtee, heard the hoary ol' chestnut done like this before. Deussen is an extremely confident singer; I don't think it's possible for her to make even the most minor mistake or for a microsecond quaver in her choices. You can tell she knows exactly what the next 10 moves are going to be while simultaneously permanently in the pocket, forever in the moment, and then projecting forward to where everything should lead. It's a CRIME that this is only Deussen's second slab. She should have 10 out by now, be soundtracked in movies, appear on TV, and find herself featured in Playboy Jazz Fests.  Take my word for it, y'all, this is one of the country's most talented singers, one of the best I've EVER heard.  On the Street is a definite in the year's 30 Best.” - Mark S. Tucker

F.A.M.E. (Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange)

“Better keep an eye on your comfort zone, torches are being passed…  A degreed jazz singer in her own right, when Deussen left the classroom, she turned to Tierney Sutton to teach her the rest of the moves needed for the real world.  For a jazz diva, she’s made the oldies a more recent vintage…  You can bet this super thrush is a star that’s going to be shining quite brightly quite soon.”” - Chris Spector

Midwest Record

Surprise embraces, then violates the familiar. Without the second, the first has no reference point. Donna Deussen‘s jazzy, sea-breeze voice finds a bubbling equilibrium between the two here, unmasking the unexpected ballad hiding inside the kindergarten cadences of “If I Only Had a Brain,” and a swift effervescence you’d never expect “On the Street Where you Live.” Her scat interludes fizz with the assurance of a lady who knows her Ella inside out.” - John McDonough / writer for Downbeat
 "...Deussen is a fine vocalist who brings a lot of thoughtful emotion to the material...Weitz is a terrific guitarist... one of the best new CDs out now and highly recommended....” - Myrna Daniels

— L.A. Jazz Scene

“Donna Deussen has a warmer than Tierney Sutton tone to her voice, and teams it up well with guitarist Paul Weitz and his cast of Matt VanBenschoten/b and Gus Duffy/d. They do some clever things with 60s pop tunes like “California Dreamin’” and “Both Sides Now” giving a bit of flair to the folk tunes. Deussen sounds assured on the intimate take of “The Very Thought of You” and gets a bit spry with Duffy who shifts gears like a Ghia during “On the Street Where You Live.” Her tone can exude confidence and sass during a strutting “Sister Sadie” which features a gleam in Deussen’s eye. Fun and inviting session.” ” - George Harris


“California Dreaming” gives Donna Deussen an opportunity to display her range, power, and improvising skills (she fearlessly trades off with Wayne). The menacing strut “Do Wrong Shoes” is succeeded by an uptempo “On The Street Where You Live” which starts off as an unaccompanied vocal, gets hotter as it goes, and has an inspired arrangement that keeps one guessing. On this selection as throughout the set, it is clear that the musicians are having a great time, coming up with fresh ways to play familiar songs. There is no shortage of energy heard throughout the program, with Nudell and Wayne offering consistently colorful and strong solos that challenge the singer to come up with her best ideas; Ms. Deussen is particularly exuberant on “Sister Sadie.” This is a highly enjoyable and recommended CD, that serves as a strong example of the music of Donna Deussen and Paul Weitz.” - Scott Yanow


In a highly competitive field, Donna Deussen is deserving of much more attention than she has been given. Her time has come. California Dreaming" opens the disc with a gentle jolt that is not fully realized until Deussen shows off her scat chops and duels with tenor saxophonist Wayne Wayne.  Deussen's scat singing is full-throttle. She scats as naturally as she sings. The after-hours thrill of Donald Fagen's terminally hip "Do Wrong Shoes" is accentuated by bassist Matt Vanbenschoten's walking tempo seasoned with guitarist Paul Weitz's too-cool stylings.  Weitz's crack trio combines with Deussen's voice is like a perfect fall pie crust, rich and comfortable. A spare and humid coupling of "Black Coffee" with "Night in Tunisia" highlights the recording with the most inventive of arrangements. Deussen dances with Wayne's tenor saxophone, bouncing phrases off the hornman like an inspired handball player; the singer has the upper hand. On the Street Where You live is beautifully completed and realized. Deussen's voice, if anything, has become more like itself: more comfortable and compliant. Deussen never over-sings. Very good show, here! ON C. MICHAEL BAILEY'S BEST RECORDINGS OF 2014 LIST: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/c-michael-baileys-best-recordings-of-2014-beat-kaestli-by-c-michael-bailey.php” - C. Michael Bailey

All About Jazz

The blending of talents featured on On the Street Where You Live, the new recording from jazz vocalist Donna Deussen and guitarist Paul Weitz’s trio, is deeply satisfying. It’s also very organic, with the album feeling like it came together over black coffee and the recording taking place between sure friends. In essence, that is the story. “Several of the arrangements came while sitting around Paul’s kitchen table, just throwing out ideas and experimenting with different sounds and rhythms,” says Deussen. “We’d just sit there and record something on Paul’s little Zoom recorder, until something sounded right.”  “California Dreamin’” is slipped into 3/4 time and benefits from a few interesting twists. Van Benschoten’s bass is warmly prominent in the mix, pushing the tune forward as Donna Deussen’s magnificent tone takes hold. And Wayne’s saxophone blisters through like a hot breeze on a hotter night, crisply delineating this rendition as pure jazz fire. Other familiar cuts follow and there’s more uniqueness to be found, like on the glorious Joni Mitchell track “Both Sides Now.” Deussen taps to the emotional core of the piece while kicking up the tempo a smidge and throwing in more layers. It’s a bold move, but it pays off. The simmering “Do Wrong Shoes” is another highlight, with the robust textures of Donna Deussen’s voice really taking hold. She sensually stretches words and adds just the right thick punch where it counts. Weitz adds swanky accents and springs into action for a fluid, fluent solo. On the Street Where You Live is a tremendous example of what happens when a unit connects and the music is found on the same page. There’s no sense of ego and no insufferable “performance.” Instead, Donna Deussen and Paul Weitz’s trio manage a remarkably pure and superbly fresh record. This is “kitchen table jazz” at its finest.” - Jordan Richardson

Something Else Reviews

“An array of classic pop tunes and cabaret novelties are given waltzing jazz rhythms and bluesy atmospherics ... in the merging of “Black Coffee” and “A Night in Tunisia,” Deussen’s vocals adapts to the shifts in the rhythmic changes, alternating between a sensual glide and a bopping scat vamp while Wayne Wayne’s saxophone infuses sparks into the melody. Deussen’s waltzing vocals in “Fly Me to the Moon” gives the track a feminine touch as Geoff Nudell’s improvisations on clarinet shrouds the tune in graceful silhouettes. Pop songs are sweetened with a dash of jazz and a scoop of blues in Donna Deussen’s and Paul Weitz’s hands. “On The Street Where You Live” has a melodic finish and smooth fluidity that music lovers can’t resist.”” - Susan Frances

AXS Entertainment - Examiner.com