Dida Pelled Trio Long Island Winterfest Palmer Vineyards Aquebogue, NY
February 12, 2012
Long Island's East End is world renowned for it's wine country and high-end lifestyle, but few visitors ever choose to experience either one during the winter. While the wine cognoscenti have come throughout the year, the general public usually waited for the warmer weather to trek out to the vineyardsbut that began to change several years ago. The Long Island Winterfest came into existence as a way to combat an early-year dip in patronage, and the festival has been using jazz as their primary marketing tool for the past four years. Various wineries play host to different jazz groups on Saturdays and Sundays between mid-February and late March, giving people an added incentive to visit the East End.
While some heavy-hitter instrumentalists, like bassist Nilson Matta
, will be sharing their music at different points throughout the festival, and the opening weekend provided an opportunity to admire the skills of another vocalist who has "rising star" written all over her.
Israeli singer-guitarist Dida Pelled and her trio mates occupied the small, tavern-like tasting room of Palmer Vineyards and presented two sets of music that, while falling on few ears, managed to charm those who were present and eager to listen. Pelled's show, which contained standards, originals, blues-based numbers, and a touching Randy Newman
's Sweet And Lowdown (Sony Pictures Classics, 1999) with "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles." The first set concluded with a pleasing take on "'Deed I Do" and a performance of "Going Down The Road Feeling Bad" that got the audience in on the singing action, but Dida was hardly done at that point.
Despite dealing with a small, occasionally disrespectful audience which contained several people more interested in basking in the post-consumption glow from their vino, and/or talking over the music, Pelled produced a second set that offered plenty to love. While the young leader delivered several originals, with "If It's Me You're After" proving to be the real standout of the bunch, she also made sure to include a pair of pieces from her debut CDPlays And Sings (Red, 2011). "After You've Gone," which was a highlight on the album, proved to be almost as good in person, and Horace Silver