Every once in a while there’s an artist who makes us aware that there’s only good and bad music and that putting music into genres like soul, jazz, pop or rock may be helpful everytime you enter a record store and don’t want to browse all available records or if you use categories for your reviews like I do here. Amana Melomé’s music is a good example of music that transcends musical borders with her unique blend of soul, jazz, reggae, world music, pop and even hints of rock. What sounds like music by numbers on paper, if you can find influences of most musical styles, turns into an inspiring and inimitable experience on record. Amana’s organic music is like a cornucopia of many artists we like, all rolled into one, at times she reminds me of Maiuko, Cherokee on her I Love You…Me album, Maya Azucena, Martha Redbone, Fertile Ground or Julie Dexter.
Amana was born in Germany and raised in Italy and grew up listening to all kinds of music. Both grandparents were jazz musicians and by the time Amana was a teenager she knew so many old jazz songs it surprised even her grandmother. Getting in touch with different cultures and Amana’s overall openeness for new impressions has obviously influenced Amana’s music to good effect. And she was lucky enough to find her musical alter ego in the shape of her producer Saverio ‘Sage’ Principini.
Like with all great albums it’s hard to pick a favourite song without neglecting the others. Caterpillar for example is a fine song underpinned with reggae rhythms that wouldn’t be out of place on a Fertile Ground album. Nao Falo is a summery swinging tune about an affair with someone who only speaks Portuguese while she doesn’t.
The catchy Floss Girl is a good observation of the superfluous life of a fashion victim. An instant winner for me is the jazzy and debonair Jack & Jill, a mellow tune with a fine string arrangement by the album’s producer Sage Principini. The introspective Searching For Myself and the midtempo So Glad I Found You with Lee Curreri on trombone are two more highlights. Actually I could virtually name every single track here, they are all outstanding.
If you’re looking for an album that will give you long lasting listening pleasures and that’s a litte bit different from the rest than look no further. Indigo Red, Amana Melomé’s great debut album, is the album for you.
Tracklisting of Indigo Red: 1. Intro/ 2. Caterpillar/ 3. Nao Falo/ 4. Space Age Mama Jama/ 5. Indigo Red/ 6. Floss Girl/ 7. Platonic/ 8. Encantada/ 9. Black Sheep/ 10. Hear Say/ 11. So Glad I Found You/ 12. Jack and Jill/ 13. Searching for Myself/ 14. Indigo Red (reprise)/ 15. Bella Farfalla | released 2005 Savana Records
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