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Mellani Day: Mostly True

Mellani Day has all her bases well covered: “jazz-centric, original, ‘lounge-y’ music that combines jazz, blues, island and world elements,” she says, and she’s right. For example, “True Love (A Wedding Song)” boasts a bagpipe! As for anti-war messages, there’s “If They Only Knew,” in which Day firmly demonstrates her blues chops. “Progress” provides Day with just the right reggae lilt. There is even Huey Lewis’ “I Want a New Drug,” redone as a torch song; it’s the only non-Day song of the session.

Pianist Eric Gunnison lends some jazz-flavored support. Ditto for the two appearances by alto saxophonist Bob Rebholz. The highlight is “Yesterday’s Lei,” cleverly raucous by innuendo, which underscores the truth about Day’s songs: The melodies go nowhere and they all sound alike. But her lyrics can be devastatingly honest, such as the lament “Don’t You Hate It?” It’s one long rhetorical question.

Originally Published