Review by Willard Manus

It’s always a pleasure to discover a new jazz singer, a case in point being Donna E. Scott, who has just released her second album, CARNIVAL. Though she has sung in numerous bands and r & b revues–and taken part in the 2014 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition–her work was unknown to me until recently.
The pianist and contralto Scott sings eight songs on CARNIVAL, a disc which evokes the joyous mood of that pre-Lenten holiday, commencing with the title tune, a lively bossa-nova written by Dehner Frank, Scott’s former vocal and jazz-piano coach. Equally jaunty and captivating is the next track, “Pennies From Heaven,” which has a big band feel, thanks to a slick arrangement by Horace Alexander Young, who also penned an original ballad for the album, “A Tie That Binds.”


Whether crooning ballads or swinging on “I Don’t Want You Anymore” or dealing with tricky Latin syncopations, Scott delivers the vocal goods, communicating in a high-soaring, lilting fashion that calls to mind the Divine Miss Sarah.

Another outstanding feature is the musicianship. Scott has hired a team of A-level bandmates, including Swedish trombonist Nils Landgren and Grammy-winning South African flautist Wouter Kellerman. (Visit