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MJ Territo / Press

“...Territo does not sound like any other female jazz singer. Her phrasing and style reminds me more of male singers, like Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett than Holiday or Ella. Territo has kind of the same coolness on her phrasing. You can hear in Territo's voice, she is having a lot of fun singing songs like Down with love, Mambo italiano, Lady is a tramp, Gotta serve somebody, Jobim Waters of March and Waltz for Debby. The arrangements are simple but effective with good musicians on piano, Alan Rosenthal and bass, David Shaich. And two special guests, Dennis Winge playing guitar on Waters of March and Libby Richman playing sax on Gotta serve somebody. This album reflects the diverse musical taste of Territo, including Jazz Standards, show tunes, ballads, brazilian music and even rock.”

“MJ does a whole host of jazz styles with her vocals on this debut CD, but her unique concept twist on this one is that they’re all themed around the idea that the songs are all about “unlove”. She selected a splendid crew of players to back her up, including Alan Rosenthal on piano, David Shaich on bass, Jon Doty on drums and guests Dennis Winge on guitar and Libby Richman on alto sax. I particularly enjoyed the lilting “Throw It Away“… it’s clearly evident that MJ is enjoying the singing & the band is right on time from the opening note. My favorite track was the down & funky “Gotta Serve Somebody“… a real slip/slidin’ track that demonstrates something about her ability to have FUN with the music (and for this reviewer, that is the KEY ingredient to success). I give this one a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.95.”

“Anyone whose repertoire includes two Bob Dorough songs ("Devil May Care" and "Small Day Tomorrow"); one Dave Frishberg opus ("Do You Miss New York?"); and a Bill Evans standard ("Waltz For Debbie") is okay in my book. And give her extra credit for additional material from the likes of Rodgers and Hart, A. C. Jobim and others. Territo brings a little Rosie Clooney-like maturity to her vocals, and works more than comfortably with the fine piano trio backing her.”

“taking a highly roundabout way to becoming a jazz vocalist, she waited until she could shake off her middle class commitments and jump in with both feet. Coming to the fore later in life, Territo brings a world weary cynicism to her cynical songs and a bright outlook to her upbeat stuff. Don’t confuse this with a bad case of frustrated housewife syndrome, Territo has the music in her and now it’s time for it to finally come out. A solid jazz vocal date well worth checking out.”

“The world of vocal jazz is one filled with an abundance of styles. One artist who blends well with any fine music collection is MJ Territo. Her latest, "Down With Love," is an excellent reminder of how great music should sound this holiday season. This self produced effort is a clear sign that Territo is looking to make her mark for years to come. A blend of songs from some of music's biggest names surely contains something for everyone, with covers of "The Lady Is A Tramp," among others. There is no bigger sign of flattery than to cover a great song, and Territo gives her spin on some great tracks. The album's high water mark comes in Territo's take on Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody." As a young man raised on classic rock, I've heard quite a few Dylan covers, and this one is in the top 20 that I've heard. A style and rhythm you'd never hear from Bob, that's for sure.”

“With a title such as Down With Love you would expect this new album by jazz vocalist MJ Territo to be, to say the least, a bit of a downer. But that isn't the case at all, the theme of the album is that there is more to life than love and Ms Territo has chosen ten songs to emphasise her premise. With support from a trio [Alan Rosenthal - piano, Davis Saitch - bass, Jon Doty - drums, plus a couple of guests on a couple of tracks] the ten tracks are reasonably upbeat and sourced from right across the spectrum from Bob Dylan to Jobim to Harold Arlen. The album is certainly a lively affair, with Ms Territo singing with much gusto and no small amount of verve - indeed, she is what we Brits would call a bit of a belter - and is bolstered by the trio who wrap their instruments around her voice like a velvet glove. So, we have songs that contemplate life, songs that are fun and those about celebrating life in all its variety.”