How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Youthful precociousness is one thing. There is typically an element of immaturity present. Fully developed and evolved at a young age is something else entirely. Israeli Dida Pelled has emerged fully formed as singer and instrumental soloist in New York City, after completing her obligation to the Israeli military and relocating there (not unlike fellow countryman/saxophonist Idit Shner
, but Pelled will emerge as the logical extension of Montgomery and Remlersmartly lyrical, and edgy in a modern and not off-putting way. This is the kind of mainstream jazz that mainstream jazz needs.
and Morgera. Pelled's repertoire is made up of vocal and guitar standards, mostly of the hard bop variety. For each "Our Love is Here to Stay" there is a "Fried Pies." Pelled's voice and guitar tone complement each other in their simplicity and warmth. Playfully sexy and intelligent, Pelled's talent exists as a complete package, perfectly capable of solo performance, but clearly benefiting from the company.
Both Hargrove and Morgera contribute greatly to the recording, Hargrove's open bell fully propelling "Our Love is Here to Stay" and "Fried Pies." Morgera's muted horn is sherry dry and flavorful on "More Than You Know" while his open bell on "Three Coins in the Fountain" is as expansive as it is clear.
Pelled's instrumental pieces are also completely fine and satisfying. "Stompin' at the Savoy" swings with a gentle confidence. The gentleness gives way to all business in her clearly linear solo choruses. Horace Silver
's "Calcutta Cutie" is treated equally gently, given an almost spooky treatment, its angular lines smoothed by Pelled's careful consideration.
Plays and Sings is a most pleasant surprise.
Track Listing: Our Live is Here to Stay; After You've Gone; There's a Lull in My Life; Can't
Take My Eyes Off of You; Ir Atzuva--It's a Sad City; Three Coins in the
Fountain; More Than You Know; Stompin' at the Savoy; Calcutta Cutie;
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