Toward Love is straight-ahead jazz with a dash of Monk, a cool sip of bossa, and a spoonful of blues. In her 2004 debut jazz CD, Deborah Latz takes ten jazz standards and weaves them into an odyssey of love.
Assembling an outstanding group of musicians, including veteran drummer Jimmy Wormworth, Timo Elliston on piano, Ben Sher of Tudo Bem on guitar and Bob Bowen on bass, Deborah has created arrangements that move from haunting and ethereal to sharp and up-tempo. With a voice, which by turns is sexy, sultry and playful, Deborah leads us to places, both distant and achingly familiar.
Paris Debut with legendary pianist, Alain Jean-Marie at Sept Lezards November 2005
Featured on CBC Radio Two - After Hours Program January 2006
AllAboutJazz – New York Concert Review
“Venues for jazz come and go. Fortunately these past months have seen the former with openings of Enzo’s Jazz in midtown and Night and Day in Park Slope. Brought to us by the same folks who run one of the Village’s most pleasing jazz haunts - Cornelia St. Cafe’s sister venue in Brooklyn looks to share a similar cast of programming. Vocalist Deborah Latz officially uncorked the new venue’s music schedule (Nov. 6th) with Daniela Schaechter (piano), Debbie Kennedy (bass) and Elizabeth Keledjian (drums), their opening set featuring delectably interpreted jazz standards (save one original - “Jump In”). The very live and intimate room quickly proved the sound system superfluous, notes reverberating off the newly installed cherry wood floors, glass ceiling with view of ominous rain clouds overhead and French doors looking out to passers-by. The dynamic Latz displayed a level of empathy in her choice material, volume never becoming the issue it may have under less sensitive a vocalist and trio. From her sultry controlled tone on “Witchcraft” and personal rendition of “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”, Latz warmly crooned to the venue’s inaugural crowd with enunciating clarity and lyrical familiarity. She patiently worked through time-tested melodies found on her year-old debut Toward Love: “Lover Man”, “The Thrill is Gone” and of course the club’s namesake - Cole Porter’s “Night and Day”.”
– Laurence Donohue-Greene
Ericnroll – France
“My Goodness, it’s been a while since I’ve spoken about jazz vocalists! It has to be said that what’s currently available does not really ring as exceptional, but from time to time, an album emerges that delicately tempts the eardrums. And right now that album is Deborah Latz’s “Toward Love”. Upon the first listen, we appreciate her unique sound and her ability to master the sentimental as well as the more upbeat songs. Her album contains 10 tracks about love and it is clear that this is a theme that Deborah knows a lot about: her love of music (of course), especially her love of jazz but also her love of life. Miss Latz is a passionate songstress and one feels that over and over throughout this album, which has a delicate and intelligent style, which makes me think of Stacy Kent’s current work. Enough said, we have found a jazz vocalist of highest quality that would do you well to find out more about!”
I highly suggest that you come and see Deborah on her Parisian tour: she will be at 7 Lezards on the 29th of November.
– Eric Boisson
Jazz Album of The Week, Fidelio OnLine September 2005 – “She will be able to arouse that special feeling in the listener that he is hearing something familiar, yet at the same time, something entirely new and unknown.”
– Mate J. Gyorgy
"A sure-footed singer possessing a mature sound and an attractive, lived-in voice, Deborah Latz’ Toward Love explores a traditional set of popular standards with satisfying results.”
- Andrew Rowan, AllAboutJazz-NY
"...a sensibility that incites a lyric with her innate dramatic instincts... Strikes just the right note of coy mischievousness... "
- Alan Bargebuhr, Cadence
"They say that love makes the world go around. I don't know about that, but it's made for some great songs, tunes that vocalist Deborah Latz goes after with gusto on her debut disc, Toward Love.
On the classic “Loverman,” where Billie Holiday sounded fragile and deeply hurt -- where Carmen McRae gave us a wounded, world weary mood -- Latz evokes a hopeful innocence, as though she believes it will happen, that loverman will show up. The vocalist demonstrates some downtempo sass on Rodgers and Hart's “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” this listener's highlight. Her voice rings with a fetching richness here, with Bob Bowen's bass caressing her syllables. And do I detect a hint of tongue in cheek? I'm not sure. The lyric is -- by today's perspective on romance -- wonderfully sappy; and Deborah Latz pulls it off with grace and straightahead beauty.
On “Avril a Paris” Latz shows us she can sing a lyric in French with aplomb; pianist Timo Elliston works a percussive mode, nailing down the rhythm behind the mellifluous flow of language. “Night and Day” has the vocalist entering the scene with a coy hush in her voice, a softly feminine Tony Bennett-like rasp in front of Ben Sher's piquant guitar lines.
A marvelous vocal effort, beginning to end. I'm bewitched.
- Dan McClenaghan, AllAboutJazz.com
"Folks who remember Deborah Latz's wonderful one-woman show 'Travels with Ma Own Self' won't be surprised by her evolution into a jazz singer. Better than that, her crisp, soulful voice has finally been captured on CD with 'Toward Love' ..."
"Deborah [Latz] has one of the BEST new voices I've heard in a LONG time. Her phrasing and unique style is simply ... elegant and versatile and spunky!”
- Jan Jenson, Jazz Now
"Toward Love is a fabulous album. I love it!"
- Dominick Dunne