473

Melody Diachun: EQ

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
Many critics love to debate if a record is jazz or pop or funk. However, many excellent recording and performing artists are sometimes either genre-bending or genre-defying. Besides, to serious fans of the art, there is either good music or bad music—that which is worth listening to or that which is eminently forgettable. Among the sea of albums released today, Melody Diachun's recommended EQ—her third as leader—offers a slightly different view of a vocalist fast becoming one of the music's more daring chanteuses.

EQ is mellow. But make no mistake about it; this record simmers with emotion almost like a slow burn as the singer continues to showcase exquisite intonation, phrasing and sense of time. Vocalist Sheila Jordan once welcomed Melody Diachun to one of her celebrated vocal workshops and Diachun learned her lessons well. Like how, for instance, that the need for pitch is relative. Diachun now has firm command over quarter notes and lets them cascade throughout her melodic excursions across a song's architecture. Examples include "October," an extraordinary cover of Joni Mitchell's "Free Man In Paris," Radiohead's "High And Dry" and the wonderful send up of Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years."

But this is far from a coy album of cover songs. The repertoire includes three songs by the team of Diachun and husband/bassist Doug Stephenson, two with Edmonton, Alberta based-songwriter, Chris Andrew and two solo efforts by Diachun. The songs explore several rhythmic avenues and are quite bold in the manner in which they explore adventurous harmonics. "Little Red Address Book" is a fine example of this musical adventure and "October" is perhaps the most memorable of the charts that Diachun has invented.

There has been talk of the resurgence of the Fender Rhodes in recent musical history. The instrument made famous in jazz by illustrious pianists such as Chick Corea and Josef Zawinul is sliding its way back into the idiomatic matrix again. Many find this a tad retro, but when used with sonic invention and its unique sonority, the Rhodes can become a moody foil for the soaring saxophone. In this instance Tilden Webb takes this interplay to a fine degree of beauty, often laying the ground for Cory Weeds to enter the proceedings on his horn, or creating a thrilling tonal counterpoint for Stephenson's bass. Both instrumentalists excel on many of the tracks, as does drummer Dan Gaucher. And as the voice is showcased on this record, they are unobtrusive, until called upon to solo.

Melody Diachun has negotiated her way through this record with soulful confidence and gives notice that her vocal prowess is on the rise and is easy to be mesmerized by.

Track Listing: When Beauty Reigns; Lothario; Spanish Joint; Spin; Free Man In Paris; Invocation; October: High And Dry; Little Red Address Book; Still Crazy After All These Years.

Personnel: Melody Diachun: voice; Cory Weeds: soprano saxophone; Tilden Webb: Fender Rhodes; Doug Stephenson: bass; Dan Gaucher: drums.

Title: EQ | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Cellar Live


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Door Girl CD/LP/Track Review Door Girl
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Incidentals CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Grey Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Grey Mirror
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 6, 2017
Read "Live in Tokyo" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Tokyo
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson" CD/LP/Track Review Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 31, 2017
Read "Subtle Energy" CD/LP/Track Review Subtle Energy
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "The Drive" CD/LP/Track Review The Drive
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "Stephan Crump's Rhombal" CD/LP/Track Review Stephan Crump's Rhombal
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 15, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.