Sunday, January 3, 2016

Dennis DeMille - Sonority (2015)

Dennis grew up in Cardiff and developed a love for song, dance and drama at an early age.  His first stage appearance at 8 years old was a self choreographed rendition of “I’m a Yankee Doodle dandy’’ in the heart of Tiger bay in Bute town Community Centre.  It was here that he also first experience photography as a child and attended classes in Tap and Jazz dance.  At 17 years old he saw an ad in the regional newspaper for a DJ competition. It was for Young Welsh DJ of the year. After practicing what to say between songs and no experience he nervously took to the decks for the very first time on that day and beat experienced contenders to win third place.  

In that same year he appeared in the chorus line in The Sherman Theatre production of “Damn Yankees’’ a Broadway musical comedy. It was the singing tuition that Dennis received here that led him back into musical performance and it wasn’t long until he was recruited as front man for “3ND’’, a jazz funk electro collective at a time when mutual friends Eric Martin (Technotronic) and Damon Rochfort (NOMAD) we’re featured in the UK Charts, with before he moved on to Sheffield Hallam University in 1994 to study Film, where he worked with a range of notable musicians including Shaun Ward, Bass player with Simply Red and writer of the title track of album “Stars’’ and Britpop minor players “The Longpigs” who had a taste of chart success with “She Said”.  His 9 piece funk band “Brained” supported “Freakpower” during their 1995 tour before he joined “Dr Octopus” before heading back to Cardiff in 1998. 

On arriving in Cardiff, he immediately became immersed in film-making, writing short films and making the occasional appearance as actor in local productions. He was featured in Justin Kerrigan’s cult hit, “Human Traffic” and also appeared several times along side Eva Myles in “Belonging”. A chance meeting with long term friend Daniel Lambert (Johnny Cage and the Voodoo Groove) led to Dennis joining “Strangetown” before making the pivotal decision to go solo in 2012. 

For the first time ever, with full creative control, Dennis finally found his jazz voice and started to carve out a formidable reputation as a powerful and present baritone with a hand in blues, soul and reggae.  A search for competent players led him to Circo Bar in Bath, where he met pianist Tom Berge and together they worked on his highly acclaimed 2014 EP “Sonority”, a selection of straight ahead jazz standards, including a departure from familiar jazz standards and a new exploration of original material by Andrew ‘Hozier’ Byrne. 

Even though his is essentially a jazz singer Dennis loves to mix the styles at regular gigs as his day to day repertoire consists of Motown Soul, Reggae and pop including songs from Elvis Presley, Lionel Richie, Barry White, John Holt, Aloe Blacc, Lou Rawls, Marvin Gaye and many more well known songs.

Dennis DeMille: vocal

1. Work Song
2. Something
3. Do You Feel
4. The Nearness of You
5. Hey Laura
6. What the World Needs Now is Love