New CD

How Deep is The Ocean

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CD review

How Deep Is The Ocean- Carolyn Dolan & Peter Supersano

Carolyn Dolan is a veteran singer, based in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Her new recording with pianist Peter Supersano, “How Deep Is The Ocean”, starts with a bang and surprises throughout. The opener, “What if I Loved You”, puts the 10 piece band, complete with horn section, to good use. It’s a sharp arrangement that swings like mad. Carolyn’s supple and expressive vocal is featured, and sets the tone for this track and, really, the whole CD. Then, surprise! A blues style harmonica solo is dropped into this jazzy, big band arrangement. The solo fits comfortably, displays great tone, effective phrasing and appropriate play over the chord changes.

Song number two, “You Got What It Takes” uses the same large ensemble format over a New Orleans groove, and the band's stylistic transition is seamless. Also an excellent vocal performance, and hey!, another great harp solo!


The third song, the title tune, is the standard “How Deep Is The Ocean”, and this ballad works well, especially in contrast with the previous song selections. The sequence of songs throughout this project works like a well thought out set.


The next song changes gears entirely, into the Stevie Wonder tune “Summer Soft”. It’s a tough song to sing, (have you ever tried to sing any Stevie Wonder song?) changing keys with regularity, but Carolyn pulls it off effortlessly, and the band again shows the ability to swing with the right feel regardless of style.


“I Was Doing All Right” follows. It’s another swinging standard that brings Count Basie to mind , but the harmonica solo pulls us back into the reality that this is a Carolyn Dolan album!


Over the course of the 14 songs offered, many styles are represented; soul, jazz, Latin, funk, blues and more. All are tastefully arranged. What with the band swinging hard, Carolyn’s versatile, husky voice, and her harmonica playing, this record has a cohesive sound top to bottom.

Production is excellent and packaging is smart. The band is comprised of many of Reno/Tahoe’s top players, like Peter Supersano, David Grantham and Tony Savage, among others…


By Steve Cohen
Steve Cohen is a musician based in Milwaukee. He has been endorsed by Hohner Inc. since 1987. He has written several harmonic instruction books that are published by Hal Leonard publishing. He currently teaches at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.

Copyright Carolyn Dolan ©2013

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