Artist: Wilding & Co
CD Review: EMERALDS (And Other Little Gems)
By: Dan Brisebois
Adele Wilding is one of music’s most prolific pop/jazz musicians on the scene today, having gained a reputation in North America as well as Europe. Born in England, she spent her formative music years in Canda, and now once again calls the UK home. Her world-experience has led her to incorporating a little bit of ‘world jazz’ in Wilding & Co’s debut CD, EMERALDS (And Other Little Gems).
Released on her own Blue Dawn record label, EMERALDS is an eclectic blend of traditional jazz with new age rhythms, making for a strong cross-over appeal, full of harmony and infectious grooves. Self-produced with assistance from Steve Tsoi, the album encompasses an array of influences and embelishes an assortment of emotions.
The acoustic bongos, marraccas and guitar in the lead-off “Autumn” are a perfect blend with Adele’s sultry vocal prowess. Laid back like a lioness ready to attack, the song incorporates a subtle clarinet feel making it the ideal beginning to a unique and refreshing musical journey.
One of many sleeper hits on EMERALDS is the cover of Janis Joplin’s “Move Over”. Close your eyes and listen while your imagination slips you into a dimly-lit lounge while the horns arrangement and gentle vocal layering wash over you.
“Hide An Emerald” is a haunting piano ballad that best showcases her special songwriting talent. Shy of being ‘overly-brooding’, the arrangement and production of the track make it a particularly special work of art, similar in style to “Windows (Light At The End)” and “It Isn’t Me”, stripped-down emotional rides high on piano and vocals that leave you wanting more.
“Coming Home” is another gem that helps EMERALDS stand out among a treasure cove of melodies, the same of which can be said for “You Go To My Head”. While “Coming Home” has a ’rounder, fuller’ feel to it, “You Go To My Head” is more of a stripped-down and raw on guitar number, but both with their unique appeal.
As a special bonus, the disc has a reprised version of “Hide An Emerald”, which acts as the other side of the coin, with a different arrangement yet still maintaining the same effect. Play the disc once and you’ll play it again.