With a growing following in Europe and with a sound that blends the acid jazz of the Caribbean, the funk-jazz that is increasing in popularity in Europe, and the sultry blues and soul of 50s America, Amana Melome’ is now ready to take the US of A by storm. Born in Germany, Melome’ grew up surrounded by music. Her grandfather, Jimmy Woode, was a member of Duke Wellington’s band and performed with Ella Fitzgerald and other great jazz musicians. Her grandmother and mother were singers, and her father, who was born in the Caribbean, remains an active musician in Europe.
Her family influences as well as her travels as a young child across Europe, the Caribbean, and the United States exposed her to broad range of music, which you can hear in her approach today. Having released a couple of albums already (Indigo Red and Phoenix Rising), Melome’ last week released an EP, Lock and Key. The five-track record is in some ways a chronology of Melome’s musical evolution, starting from the present and moving to the past.
It begins with the R&B-esque title track with funk and electronic grooves, and the song represents something new in Melome’s catalog. It’s not a re-imagination of the genre, but the track is sleek. “If and When, “Save My Soul”, and “One by Blood” are three other tracks that reveal Melome’s growth, where she blends cool, funk and R&B-inspired melodies with the music of her past – soul and acid jazz. The tracks are slowed down to create an icy, mysterious feel and one perfect for sipping cocktails. On “Save My Soul” is the one track that best exemplifies the harmony that Melome’ is seeking to achieve between her past and present.
The final track, “Icarus”, is a jazz tune through and through, and it’s arguably the best track on the album. It has the feeling of being in a dimly lit bar, as the trumpet echos in the background and the stunning, sultry voice hypnotizes you. It’s a great track, showing off how jazz music can still create shivers down one’s back.
Lock and Key is available now on iTunes. Meome’ will be performing at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City on March 24, and other US dates can be expected in the near future. Check out this rising singer-songwriter before your friends do.
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