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Mellisa Collard - In A Mellow Tone [ACD-327] CD Review by Scott Yanow

Date Posted: 2012-04-08

An excellent swing singer and rhythm guitarist from Northern California, Melissa Collard is a bit reminiscent of Rebecca Kilgore. Like Kilgore, she sings simply but flawlessly. She is always in tune and is a master of subtle creativity. Ms. Collard, while generally sticking to the words and close to the melodies of songs, has the knack of being able to pick out the perfect notes to sing. She uplifts each song that she interprets, makes everything swing, and sounds as if she is smiling all of the time.

On In A Mellow Tone, available from www.jazzology.com, Melissa Colalrd is assisted by an all-star quartet. Trumpeter Bryan Shaw not only takes hot solos but interacts closely with the singer and they often trade off. Pianist Chris Dawson is a local treasure, bassist Richard Simon consistently plays witty ideas while swinging, and drummer Hal Smith is perfect for any prebop jazz group.

Melissa and her sidemen explore such standards as "Out Of Nowhere,' "How Am I To Know," "Love You Madly," "As Long As I Live" and "You're Driving Me Crazy." All 17 songs are given joyful treatments (even the sadder songs), making In A Mellow Tone easily recommended for fans of small-group swing and cool-toned singers.

- Scott Yanow

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