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Dorothy Leigh, A Second Chance
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April, 2011: Jazz Inside Magazine Album Review - A Second Chance
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A SECOND CHANCE – Whitley Productions, Inc.

Whenever We Touch; ASecond Chance; Don’t Hang Up; Home Again; Gone Away to Stay; I’m Gonna Love You forever; Never Did I Ever Stop Loving You; don’t Call Me a Fool; Confession; Time to Go.

PERSONNEL: Dorothy Leigh, vocals; Alva Nelson, piano, keyboards, flute, percussion; Doug Harris, tenor saxophone, flute; Jimmy Cozier, alto saxophone, flute, clarinet; Kenny Shanker, alto Saxophone; Patrice Higgins, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Dave Watson, baritone saxophone, alto flute; Freddie Hendrix, trumpet; Cecil Bridgewater, trumpet, flugelhorn; Hardin Butcher, trumpet, flugelhorn; Walter Ricks, trumpet, flugelhorn; Earl McIntyre, bass trombone; Danny Hall, Isrea Butler, Barry Cooper, trombone; Tony Lewis, Arti Dixson, drums; Stanley Banks, Thomas Gooding, bass; Dave Shun, Billy Patterson, guitar; Donald Eaton, percussion.

Here’s a big production CD with full orchestration, taking the listener into a celebratory world of disco and rhythm and blues. Dorothy Leigh holds forth with exuberance and hope, calling forth a “second chance” as the lyrics of the title track express, misleading only in that this is a debut recording.

“She’s free too be who she wants to be,” say the lyrics and that spirit carries through all ten songs. The backup singers ring out in full-throated joy as well. And the listener can’t help becoming part of the contagion, moving in song, walking in rhythm.

Such participatory celebration is enhanced by the extensive jacket presentation of all the lyrics so that there’s no deterrence to joining in the choir. There’s a certain repetition in message and melody but to no great detriment. The more one insists on a happy state of mind, a bounce to the step, and the more one accents the positives and eliminates the negatives, then the more one is shored up to meet life’s and this CD’s trials and tests.

Ultimately there’s no need to over analyze the lyrics and the songs or even Ms. Leigh’s vocals. Oftentimes, and this seems to be an instance, there’s no need to establish exalted, idealized expectations. If one just takes these songs as they are, the more appealing they become. All in all, Ms. Leigh is more than suited to supply the vocals these tunes require.

One might protest that things are a bit over done, over produced and wish for a more stripped down production, a smaller, more understated package, more in keeping with the material. Such a hope, however, is fleeting in the acceptance of things as they are, leaving the listener with a salute and a congratulatory tipping of the hat.

By Bob Gish
Jazz Inside Magazine


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