…A mood of melancholy that is quite beautiful in this music.
Diana Panton (v); Phil Dwyer (ts); Reg Schwager (elg); Don Thompson (p); Jim Vivian (b)
Recorded 2021 – 2022
The programme here is one of a series that previously featured Pink and Red. I don’t know the mood of those two but these tracks are certainly and decidedly ‘blue.’ Ms Panton has linked up with pianist/arranger Don Thompson to produce a complete set of sad, reflective songs or, as the liner writer puts it, ‘a trilogy of ultimately ill fated relationships.’
All the tunes selected are good, well known, in most cases much loved standards, very suitable for purpose. And Ms Panton has a clear, expressive, little girl voice which certainly suits the mood she is creating. A special mention must go to pianist Thompson who is a sensitive accompanist who provides just the right sort of backing chords and solo lines to spotlight her voice.
He is also the arranger for all selections. The rest of the band are sympathetic supporters on their instruments and some tracks feature the Penderecki Quartet, a string foursome.
Given that Diana was obviously creating a special mood album of songs for failed relationships it was, I suppose, inevitable that they all come across as sombre and somewhat gloom laden. But the way she and her musicians interpret them there is a mood of melancholy that is quite beautiful in this music.
She sounds particularly poignant on Bobby Troup’s ‘The Meaning Of The Blues.’ Other highlights to savour would be her lilting vocal on Lennon and McCartney’s ‘Yesterday,’ and Frank Loesser’s ‘Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year.’
It is very good, laid back jazz for a lazy afternoon or evening and well sung and played throughout although a sensitive drummer using brushes might have set the time and rhythmic movement more precisely. You need to be in a reflective, quiet mood yourself though to enjoy it to the full.
But, if you’ve just gone through the end of a love affair or broken up after a long relationship, best put it aside for another day. When you’re in the right mood this is music to enjoy for its truth and delicacy.
Reviewed by Derek Ansell