A humid breeze blows through the four pieces, one standard and three originals on vocalist Natalie Dietz's EP, Believe In Love. Fronting an empathetic guitar-piano quintet specializing in the gentle percussion of the Caribbean, Dietz sings with a relaxed, languid quality that makes her singing easy and effortless, carefully cloaking a realized confidence that drives her music. A real challenge to performing and singing as Deitz does is the governor she puts on her effort. Restraint is a big part of this singer's and band's delivery. The result is a restful listening experience.
The title piece sets the environment of the remaining pieces. It is propelled with the understated electric piano of Aaron Parks competing with the guitar of Mike Moreno, groove- oriented, but dampened properly to complement the piano. Dietz attacks the song with a sensually drowsy tone that offsets Moreno's punchy solo. The standard "Corcovado" is all absinthe and warm honey, exuding a beautiful and fully realized decadence. Dietz's voice is drowsy with Brazilian smoke and warmth. She sings this Rebecca Parrisslow. "New Day" is lilting with Dietz's voice doubled by the guitar and piano in different sections, betraying a carefully arranged laconicness that is at once insouciant and urgent. "The Mood I'm In" echos the same.
EP's tease with a taste of what a longer format could offer. Dietz is smart to use this shorter form as it presents a concentrated version of her overall approach and vision. In the clotted deluge of jazz vocals, Dietz's offering floats to the top by virtue of its light touch and grace.
Track Listing: Believe In Love; Corcovado; New Day; The Mood I’m In.
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.