Patchwork Album Release

Vocalist Dheepa Chari teams up with a flexible team of Lars Potteiger/key, Dan Asher/b, Mike DiRubbo/ss-as, Danill Davydoff/viol and Vin Scialla/dr for a mix of originals and jazz standards. She’s got a clean and reedy voice and uses it well on the quiet teaming with piano on “ Black and Blue” while with DiRubbo’s soprano she gives a clear and homey read of “I’m Old Fashioned.” The team delivers a fun clippety clop of a grove on “Lasso” and a post bop “Questions” has Chari effortlessly jumping vocal ranges like a high jumper. Some warm strings team up with Potteiger’s piano for a cozy and thoughtful “Patchwork” and she cleverly goes modal on “Ain’t Misbehavin.’” Rich and rewarding.” - George W. Harris

Jazz Weekly

Jazz vocals provides a wide open playing field more so than ever. The music at its best, always manages to absorb what it can from other genres without diluting its identity. Recent releases from Ashley Daneman “Beauty Indestructible” (self- produced, 2014) and the stunning debut “Ode To Heroes” (Harmonia Mundi Jazz Village, 2015) from Thana Alexa, bear this out, and strike a balance between jazz artists’ individuality and the accessibility of pop and rock. New York based, Vancouver born Dheepa Chari, and her self-produced full length second album, “Patchwork” continue that trend. Chari’s strong mix of material, which blends well-trodden standards, originals co-written with keyboardist Lars Potteiger, and recent tunes from the rock canon cover a wide range of styles and showcase her alto voice to fine effect. The band assembled around her with Potteiger, alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo (doubling on soprano sax), bassist Dan Asher, Daniil Davydoff on violin and Vin Scialla on drums and percussion and provide empathetic support and first rate solos, especially from Potteiger on “Semblance of Truth” and from DiRubbo throughout the set. Chari’s interpretation of Cole Porter’s classic “Love For Sale” features a buoyant horn chart and grooving Latin rhythm, keeping the tune fresh. Her vocal delivery is subtle, and silky, and the covers of Phoenix’ “Lasso” and “Black and Blue” by the Counting Crows are vehicles for her rich tone.  “Patchwork,” indeed, is a hodgepodge of elements that define the direction jazz has been heading in the past several years, managing to reconcile the rich history of the music with contemporary elements that have always been hallmarks of the genre. Dheepa Chari’s assured vocal delivery, knack for choosing intriguing songs, especially from the modern rock genre, and chemistry with a group that she shares the space with in equal measure display that jazz is always about exploration and that she is a talent deserving wider recognition. The concoction of well known older pieces, with newer ones assures that new generations will check the art form out.  ” - CJ Shearn

Jazz Views with CJ Shearn

If there's a rivalry to take over for Sarah Vaughan these days in terms of a pure voice, Dheepa Chari would be a contender. Dovetailing on her grandmother's professional Hindustani singing in India, she studied music of her heritage and Western songs, moving as a youth to Vancouver, then Dallas where she graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1999 before migrating to NYC in 2001. The evidence is heard on her previous recordings 4th Street and Some New Fashion and her newly released breakthrough CD, Patchwork. Combining standards with original arrangements, spirit songs, deeply emotional forays and an easily relatable pop sensibility, Chari's lovely voice is alluring and sweet without being syrupy.  ” - Gwen Kelley

Hot House Jazz Guide

The name of New York City singer Dheepa Chari gives her Indian origin. But Dheepa was born not in India, but in Vancouver, Canada, where eventually moved to the United States - first in Dallas and then to New York. Music in general and in particular, singing were with her since childhood.  Her first EP appeared in 2010 and was followed by the first full-length album, Some New Fashion, with the favor of jazz press reviews and audience recognition. Patchwork - the second album and undoubtedly a new stage in her creative growth - is the first time she appears not only as a singer and band leader, but also as a songwriter of her own. In addition to the title track of the album it includes two compositions written by Dheepa in collaboration with pianist Lars Potteiger - Semblance of Truth and Questions. In one embodiment, the translation of the title Patchwork sounds a bit ironic - a hodgepodge, some fabric, made of diverse and colorful patches. In a sense, this interpretation corresponds to the content of the album, composed of three parts: one part - originals, the other - versions of classic jazz standards (Love for Sale Porter, I'm Old Fashioned Kern, Mercer, Is not Misbehavin ' Fats Waller, and so on), and the third - covers of popular songs from the scope of modern rock music. As a whole, these are often combined through a gentle, rather high voice and arrangements by Lars. In some songs, very well introduced in the ensemble sound, based on the interaction of voice, piano and rhythm section, and other instruments: violin in Lasso (from the repertoire of the French band Phoenix), a saxophone in Patchwork. Not a very long album leaves on the whole a really good impression. Among the many young singers of modern jazz Dheepa Chari - is a name that is worth remembering” - Leonid Auskern

Jazz Quad

DHEEPA CHARI/Patchwork: This modern jazz vocalist/band leader channels some of the great thrushes of the past but channels them through her art chick side, staying away from the tortured artist effect to great affect.  A meaty, sitting down listening date, this is the kind of date that doesn’t have to rely on a hit single as the album makes a complete statement no matter how disparate the sources of the material.  This jazzy gal is well on her way here with this ambitious date that consistently hits the right notes.   ” - Chris Spector

Midwest Record

Beauty both in appearance and manner and in her musical gifts New York City based singer Dheepa Chari is not only spectacularly beautiful but delivers a range from velvety softness to sultry blues, plumbing the depths of human emotion. She has graced the East Coast jazz scene with her dazzling versatility and range, and has already has corralled praise from some of the genre’s guiding lights such as All About Jazz, Jazz Corner, and Jazz Times. Dheepa’s fluid, compelling delivery transcends time and musical styles. This new album was developed with pianist Lars Potteiger and producer Aaron Nevezie and further showcases her creativity and innovation through unique and original jazz compositions and arrangements encompassing various musical genres. Dheepa's original work shines spotlight on this rising star Dheepa Chari always sounds flawless and smooth, this was quite evident on her previous album Some New Fashion. However, with Patchwork, her first album of original works she displays a range and joy that jumps through the speakers and transports you to your favorite jazz club. Whether your taste range from slow and smooth (Again and Again) or toe tapping (Lasso - my personal fave) Dheepa delivers everything you could possibly expect in a true jazz artist. Patchwork is just the initial glimpse into the world of possibilities for this rising artist - jump on this rocket ship early because it is taking off.”


With Patchwork, the new CD by Dheepa Chari, the outstanding New York City-based vocalist has taken a giant step into the forefront of contemporary jazz singers.  The influences of her personal inspirations are all fully displayed in her singing – the dulcet sultriness of Sarah Vaughan, the impeccable phrasing and effortless control of Ella Fitzgerald, and the emotional depth and sinuous lyricism of Billie Holiday. But the musical depth and creativity on this remarkable album also call to mind another icon of jazz vocalizing – the unparalleled Betty Carter. Like Betty, Dheepa is a band leader, not simply a vocalist with ensemble support. The musicians create a vivid synergy, weaving a rich tapestry of inspired creative interplay that takes the listener on a fascinating journey with each song. These are not theme-in/development/theme-out excursions, but rather full throttle adventures that conclude in a place far different from the departure point. Each of the ten pieces on the album is developed entirely on its own terms, embracing various elements of the jazz vocal tradition without ever falling into categorization or succumbing to the expected.  Much of this can be credited to the extraordinary arrangements of Dheepa’s brilliant collaborator and pianist/keyboardist Lars Potteiger, who also co-composed three of the songs with Dheepa. Each arrangement is lovingly crafted to not only provide the perfect setting for the jewel that is Dheepa’s beautiful voice, but also to allow her to paint each song’s story on its own emotional canvas. The exemplary skills of producer Aaron Nevezie capture every nuance of this marvelous recording. To deliver music of this substance, the musicianship must be at the highest level, and the musicians on Patchwork are flawless in execution and consummate in artistry. Joining Lars in the rhythm section are Dan Asher on both electric and upright bass, and Vin Scialla on drums and percussion. Together they provide the pulsing fire, sensitive rapport and dynamic flow as demanded by the expressive context of each piece. Violinist Daniil Davydoff and Mike DiRubbo on alto and soprano saxophones are added on a number of pieces. Daniil provides a shimmering, hypnotic radiance sometimes in obbligato and others in harmony, woven delightfully into the arrangements; while Mike’s vigorous, inventive solos and background textures vitally enhance each piece on which he’s featured. Most of the solo space goes to Lars – always imaginative, adventurous and fully integrated into the music without a wasted note or a flash of virtuosity for its own sake. Of course, the core of the music is Dheepa’s luminous artistry and superb voice – warm, emotionally expressive, full-bodied throughout her extensive range, deeply soulful and richly compelling. The essence of all vocal artistry is to tell a story beyond the lyrics, not just through one’s personal sound and style, but by conveying the essence of the soul within the structure of the musical environment. Dheepa has mastered that thoroughly. The repertoire is delightful – an excellent balance of originals, Great American Songbook classics and rock pieces.  The Chari/Potteiger originals include the album’s opener Semblance of Truth, a dramatic, moving, anthem-like piece built on emphatic piano chords and colored by violin; the adventurous Questions with a powerfully driving piano solo and buoyant vocal; and the title track Patchwork atmospherically blossoming from its rubato opening, incubated by violin and featuring alto and soprano solos in a context that has an early electric Miles feel. The standards are fully re-imagined and completely refreshing in their approaches. Cole Porter’s Love for Sale is vibrantly up-tempo, spurred by horns and with Dheepaalternating long languorous tones and rapid fire phrases. Kern& Mercer’s beautiful I’m Old Fashioned is an unexpectedly bouncy jaunt that closes in a delicious soprano sax/vocal pas de deux. Woody Herman’s 1949 hit Early Autumn features Dheepa dancing briskly over the effervescently percussive rhythm section; and Fats Waller’s iconic Ain’t Misbehavin’ is a highly original and modernized version, embellished by violin and with Dheepa’s rhythmic thrust fluctuating boldly. Dheepa also transforms a trio of popular rock songs and makes them her own. Again and Again – by British rockers Keane – uses very subtle and tasteful vocal overdubs to enhance the lovely melodic delivery over dramatically rhythmic chords. The French rock band Phoenix’s Lasso features Dheepa coiling sinuously around the rhythm section with exceptional percussive flavorings and mesmerizing synthesizer textures. A highly atmospheric, rubato, deeply moving take on Counting Crows’ Black and Blue closes out this captivating album on a most poignant note. Following up on her excellent previous releases, 4th Street (EP) and Some New Fashion, Patchwork is a triumph.  ”

— Patchwork press release

  A young New York singer releasing her first full-length (after an EP I haven't heard), Chari is part of the new breed of jazzers who are looking beyond standards for their repertoire. Not that other jazzers haven't already covered the Beatles (she sings "Here, There, and Everywhere") or Billy Joel (in my youth I heard Count Basie play "Just the Way You Are," which not only closes this album but also gives it its title), but I bet she's the first to take on Depeche Mode's "World in My Eyes" and Linkin Park's "Shadow of the Day." The funny thing is, as much as I was ready to look down my nose on the latter choice, it works beautifully, thanks not only to her vocal delivery but to Vikas Hebbar's lovely arrangement, which features violin and muted trumpet. The majority of the song choices will be less shocking to jazz sensibilities, as she has interesting taste in standards: not only the usual suspects -- "Night and Day," "Sophisticated Lady," "Skylark," Old Devil Moon" -- but also less common choices: "Black Orpheus" and, especially, Duke Ellington's blues "Rocks in My Bed." Her backing band's good as well, with -- as already noted -- more than the expected piano trio backing. I'd like a little more world-weariness (or psychological depth) on some numbers, notably "Sophisticated Lady," but that will come with maturity. She's beyond promising; she's already good and seems likely to get even better.” - Steve Holtje

Culture Catch

When Dheepa Chari sings, there is a sense that everything is alright with the world. Although music can be broken down to its various parts, each component meticulously analyzed, it doesn’t change the fact that, for many listeners, its primary function is to provide escapism. Through Chari’s dulcet croon, that imaginary paradise is found. In many ways, Chari recalls Sade. They are both exotic beauties with a soft, soulful voice, cool as ice yet radiating warmth; it’s a delicate balance that borders on contradiction. The main difference is that Sade has a rich British accent which stood out amidst the Whitney Houston high-note divas of the ‘80s. But Chari shares Sade’s subtle touch. Chari never shouts, never aims for unnecessary high notes; she is a smooth operator herself, seducing ears with lovingly crafted melodies. On “My One and Only Love,” Chari gives a sweet, breezy performance that echoes the liveliness of Marc Gaston’s piano playing. Together they harmonize like the spring air. This is vocal jazz at its most emotionally uplifting; it’s hard to listen to “My One and Only Love” without smiling, without feeling the invigorating massage of the sun on your back. “Summertime” is appropriately giddy, Fabio Serafini’s tumbling drums catching the wild energy of hip-hop. “Peel Me a Grape” hints at funk but Chari, who is classically trained, offers the gyrating rhythms deeply felt passion; her voice pours down like honey. The slower, highly romantic “Angel Eyes” is a work of nearly blinding gorgeousness. Chari’s sultry singing is absolutely breathtaking here as Gaston’s late-night piano helps turn the song into a candlelit love affair. At only five tracks, “On 4th Street” provides merely a glimpse of Chari’s unmistakable talent; however, it’s more fulfilling than a number of recent whole albums.” - Leslie Connors

Jazz Times