SWINGING VOICES…Diana Panton: Solstice/Equinox, Astrid Kuljanic: Transatlantic Exploration Company

Sounds from all parts of the world are explored by these adventurous vocalists.

Diana Panton has a sweet girl-next-door voice not dissimilar from vintage Blossom Deari as she teams with Guido Basso/tp-fh-ct, Hil Dwyer/sax, Reg Schwager/g and Don Thompson/g-p-vib. With Thompson on vibes, the band turns into a George Shearing hip groove with cool swing on the cozy “That Sunday, That Summer,” “September in the Rain” and “I Like Snow.” Dwyer’s alto is tender on the impressionistic “Septembre” and Basso’s brass is warm and gentle during a glowing “Cloudy Morning.” Rich  pastels dominate this well framed work of art.

Astrid Kuljanic takes you all over the world in a variety of languages and atmospheres with a flexible team of Ben Rosenlum/acc, Mat Muntz/b and Rogerio Boccato/perc. She gets clever on an Afro-hip rad of the bop classic “A Night In Tunisia” that has the percussion and accordion do some amazing tricks, while a traditional Croation piece titled “Oj Vi  Mlade” gets a reggae pulse. Most creative are her duets with bassist Muntz, with a spacious and thoughtful read of Charles Mingus’ “Portrait” a flexible “Wild is the Wind” and an echoey “The Very Thought Of You” creating moods that you won’t quickly forget. Well worth repeated listenings!



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