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Michelle Lordi: Two Moons

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Michelle Lordi: Two Moons
The art of the jazz diva does not shy away from the dark and mysterious. From putting a spell on somebody to helplessly falling under that old black magic, the tradition always seems to include some small touch of witchery, and Michelle Lordi, for her part, does not let a modern-day sound obscure those roots. The mood of Two Moons sits somewhere between a late-night set in a small jazz club and a round of spooky stories around the campfire.

Lordi drops us into a weirdly beautiful spoken-word fever dream at the start, and the feeling of drifting somewhere unreal never goes away. A handful of original pieces present lyrics that could have come from decades-old love songs; in between are some well-seasoned chestnuts going back as far as the 1930s, themed around dreams, ghosts and/or broken hearts. All are arranged for a standard combo (sax/piano/acoustic bass/drums) in quasi-angular chord arrangements that make the mood anything but standard.

That slight edge always keeps the pieces just a little unsettling as they drift from sad-happy to happy-sad. A lot of that is down to co- witchdoctor Orrin Evans and his instinct for blocky jagged edges. While Rodgers and Hart's "Blue Moon" is slowed to a creepy crawl, or Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" skips and hops, they still get an extra jolt when Evans suddenly decides to get up and dash around the room knocking things over. The other edge comes from Lordi herself, spiking odd notes at just the right times and infusing the wistful words with her share of ghosts. Such a clear alto should almost clash with the degree of heartbreak or trepidation in these performances, but somehow it fits with this mix of tones always pulling in different directions. Old magic does indeed fit in these striking new dressings just fine.

Track Listing

Both; Blue Moon; Never Break; Only Love Can Break Your Heart; Close Your Eyes (intro); Close Your Eyes; Haunted Heart; Scare the Ghost; Moon and Sand; Sailor and the Sea.

Personnel

Album information

Title: Two Moons | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Self Produced


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