Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Melissa is currently based in New York City, immersing herself in its rich music scene and establishing herself as a formidable talent. Over the past 8 years, she has developed a loyal fan base in Canada playing regularly in that country's major jazz clubs and festivals. Influenced by a range of classic and contemporary singers including Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Norma Winstone and Luciana Souza, Melissa’s sound is rooted in the tradition of jazz singing, while remaining entirely her own. This is evident on her third and most recent album, sliding down (Sleepin' Bee Music 2006, Festival Dist.), the much-anticipated follow up to 2001’s critically acclaimed “bachelorette*”.
sliding down is a sublime collection of original songs, contemporary tunes and jazz standards bound to thrill both long-time fans and newcomers to Melissa’s singular style. It is a textured and nuanced album that features original lyrics and compositions alongside more familiar jazz and pop repertoire. Them There Eyes, All of You, and the Beatles' Blackbird are re-imagined by a stellar ensemble with Melissa's warm and inviting voice at the forefront. Much of the repertoire on the album was developed and honed during the Melissa Stylianou Trio’s five year residency every Friday evening at Toronto’s venerable Rex Hotel. Trio mates Kim Ratcliffe (guitar) and Artie Roth (bass) are featured prominently on this record in their multi-faceted roles as performers, arrangers and composers (Kim and Melissa collaborated on 3 of the 5 original songs), while a selection of Toronto’s finest jazz musicians fill out the mix.
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She’s the sort of warm, open and secure singer for whom “style” is a means not an end. —Mark Miller, jazz critic, Globe and Mail