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June 2002

Diane Delin
Talking Stick
Blujazz

On Talking Stick, the Chicago violinist Diane Delin swings hard in the company of an excellent rhythm section headed by pianist Dennis Luxion, a Bill Evans devotee. On three tracks, she floats over her arrangements for an 18-piece string section created by overdubbing six instruments. Her tone, light with a fast vibrato in the upper register, deepens below middle C, where she uses less vibrato and has more consistent intonation. In the faster pieces, Delin combines control, an ebullient swing feel and interesting line construction. "Beautiful Love" and her composition "Last Night's Samba" are prime examples. She and Luxion play two empathetic duets on "If I Should Lose You" and "Two Sleepy People." The album balances standards with Delin's compositions, and adds her adaptation of "Raghupati", an Indian raga. Talking Stick concludes with Delin's song "Only the Moment," in which Greg Pasenko delivers passionate soul singing freighted with wide vibrato. The track is at odds with the taste that characterizes the rest of the collection.

Originally published in June 2002
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