Dione Taylor | Open your Eyes
Soular Productions 13 Tracks 60 minutes

Dione Taylor, remember the name, is a new voice on the jazz scene. As you listen to her sing on this first album, you can hear who she's been listening too. "Rollercoaster Man," one of four of Ms. Taylor's own compositions, sounds a lot like Peggy Lee doing "Fever"; on another of her compositions, "Alone", you can hear the low-register, breathy, husky, grunty, styling that signifies Cassandra Wilson; and on "I Fall in Love too Easily," who else but June Christie? Dee Dee Bridgewater is everywhere, especially on "But Not For Me." Great choices all, and well absorbed. The title tune, also Ms. Taylor's composition is well made and has some interesting ideas in it.

Ms. Taylor's voice can be reed-like and breathy, but there's plenty of brass in it to express the fire of her passions. Her fine phrasing, well-placed flattened notes and prolonged final open vowels (me-e-e, you-ou-ou) mark her clearly as a jazz singer and not just some talented thrush.

Fittingly, the album has the cream of Toronto jazz musicians accompanying her including Brian Dickinson on piano and Fender Rhodes (or Doug Riley), Jim Vivian on Bass, Perry White on Saxophones, Kevin Turcotte on Flugel Horn, Ted Quinlan on guitar, and David Direnzo on Drums. The ensemble has a cool, lovely sound.

Open Your Eyes is the sound of a new musician among us.

Stanley Fefferman for The Live Music Report

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