164

Melissa Stylianou: Sliding Down

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Through her program of standards and originals, jazz vocalist Melissa Stylianou interprets with an emotional fervor. She swings, she's hip, and she delivers a unique performance. Stylianou works in both lyrical presentation and thrilling wordless vocals. Musically, she carries a velvety upper register that floats gently on the breeze. But it's not her voice that stands out as the deciding factor on this recommended album; it's her accompaniment. While the album's focus remains clearly on the singer, her surrounding band members lift her performance considerably.

Stylianou is a communicator. She sings with us instead of to us. Her voice serves as an instrument that weaves the other band members together; she's a team player. This is most evident on her original "Three Little Girls, where her voice interacts with bass, mandolin, guitar and percussion to tell an exotic story. Together, they create an adventure that enthralls. Kevin Breit, Alan Hetherington, Artie Roth and Kim Ratcliffe, in particular, have given the session a hearty texture.

Later, she adds a lovely wordless vocal on "Lohengrin that interacts with cello seamlessly. While Stylianou's voice fits well in this context, everything turns out fine and mellow. The memorable portions of her program come not from the singer, but from her action-packed band.


Track Listing: Them There Eyes; Mary

Personnel: Melissa Stylianou: vocals; Kim Ratcliffe, Rob Piltch: guitar; Kevin Breit: mandolin, guitar; Artie Roth, Jon Maharaj: bass; Ted Warren, Davide Direnzo: drums; Alan Hetherington: drums, percussion; Kevin Fox: cello; Jamie Reynolds: piano.

Title: Sliding Down | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "The Best of Big Star" CD/LP/Track Review The Best of Big Star
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Another Place, Another Time" CD/LP/Track Review Another Place, Another Time
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 18, 2017
Read "Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere" CD/LP/Track Review Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere
by Mike Jacobs
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "A Woman's Work..." CD/LP/Track Review A Woman's Work...
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Vit" CD/LP/Track Review Vit
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 7, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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