Reviewed by Eric Saeger
My great hopes for this jazz-guitar record were negated, but that’s a preference thing, so don’t let that stop you if you’re into standards as examined by subdued, dreamy, barely-plugged guitar. Dida Pelled studied at Thelma Yellin High School Of The Arts in Tel Aviv, the go-to school for jazz talent in Israel. That boded well, and my ears were recently enchanted by jazz singer Yaali Ballin, who, like Pelled, is female and Israeli by birth – you get where I’m going, I’m sure, so I was a bit surprised how thuddingly average this stuff was. Pelled’s core vocal sound is similar to Ballin’s but without the range; you’ve probably been disappointed yourself by all the cookie-cut Betty Boop-y backgrounders who’ve taken the Billie Holiday ball and headed for the end zone without a plan B. Obviously you should be thinking of Wes Montgomery, whose ‘Fried Pies’ receives a particularly grating Miles-wannabe trumpet solo out of nowhere, breaking up the until-then liveable chill permeating the entire record, like having a drunk suddenly burst into your yoga class.