All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

Edel Meade: Blue Fantasia

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Although Edel Meade has graced the Irish jazz scene for a decade Blue Fantasia is the singer's debut album. Meade has honed her craft under the tutelage of Sheila Jordan, Bobby McFerrin, Norma Winstone and New York Voices and is a respected jazz vocal teacher in her own right. Her Edel Sings Julien Colarossi and Johnny Taylor in particular afforded plenty of room, both as colourists and improvisers. Linley Hamilton's contributions on the sultry, midnight confessional "Sideways" and the Norah Jones-esque "I Thought It Was You" are less pronounced but the trumpeter lends undeniable warmth. Tommy Gray parades an array of textures on sticks, brushes, mallets and cajon, while Kevin Higgins' electric bass ostinatos infuse songs old and new with a contemporary edge.

Several of these tunes have been maturing in Meade's live shows for a number of years; the gently bossa nova tinged "I Tried to Take His Life" is as thematically curious—death in the kitchen sink—as it is musically seductive, with Meade's vocal, as caressing as a summer breeze, lent sympathetic support by Hamilton and Taylor; the singer is quietly commanding on the aching ballad "Love Lost"—recorded by Scott Flanigan on Point of Departure (Self-Produced, 2015)—where the faint crackling of needle coupling with vinyl at the outset and the tinny, radio broadcast effect towards the end add an air of melancholy and nostalgia.

There's vim and verve in Meade's arrangements of Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek" and Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight"—old chestnuts polished anew. On the latter, Meade steers the music between buoyant groove and floating abstraction, with Gray's animation and Colarossi's electric solo adding bite. Wayne Shorter's "Iris" inspires original lyrics from Meade, and her layered, harmonized vocals, combined with cajon, guitar and trumpet, makes for an highly personal interpretation.

Meade delves into sassy R&B on "Blind Eye," Colarossi tuning into the vibe with a telling solo over funk bass and electric piano comping. There's a pansori feel to the dry drum-beat intro to "Blue Fantasia," a bold stylistic departure from Meade that marries minimalist impressionism—sighing cymbals, tinkling percussion, echoing gong—with spoken word intimacies. From the brooding title track to the boogie of "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough." Here, Meade's teasingly slow delivery converts a dance-floor classic into an irresistibly sexy grind, infused with bluesy tones and infectious hand-claps of suggestive rhythm. Wind chimes and stream-like shaker impose a state of reverie at the outset of "Beyond the Coda," though drums, electric piano and guitar inject gently coursing pulse beneath Meade's lulling improvisation.

There's not a weak track in these dozen, stylistically varied, artfully crafted compositions. On "Iris," Meade sings: 'This is your time to shine.' So too, it seems for Meade, for with Blue Fantasia Meade confidently announces herself as a composer, interpreter and singer of notable talent, and one increasingly following her own muse.

Track Listing: Sideways; Cheek to Cheek; Love Lost; Prelude; ‘Round Midnight; I Tried To Take His Life; Blind Eye; Blue Fantasia; Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough; I Thought It Was You; Iris; Beyond The Coda

Personnel: Edel Meade; voice, piano (3 - intro), percussion; Julie Colarossi: guitars; Johnny Taylor; Rhodes, piano; Kevin Higgins: electric bass; Tommy Gray: drums, cajon; Linley Hamilton: trumpet; Dave McCune: güiro (4).

Title: Blue Fantasia | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Vera CD/LP/Track Review
Vera
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 18, 2018
Read In Motion CD/LP/Track Review
In Motion
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Marshian Time Slip CD/LP/Track Review
Marshian Time Slip
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Four On The Road CD/LP/Track Review
Four On The Road
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "Solano Canyon" CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read "Caldera" CD/LP/Track Review Caldera
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 10, 2017
Read "This World of Dew" CD/LP/Track Review This World of Dew
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 16, 2018
Read "Don't You Wish" CD/LP/Track Review Don't You Wish
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Choices and Melodies" CD/LP/Track Review Choices and Melodies
by John Eyles
Published: May 28, 2018
Read "Full Circle, Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Full Circle, Vol. 2
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 11, 2018