Album review: ALICE DiMICELE – Swim

ALICE DiMICELE - Swim

Alice Otter Music [Release date 04.05.15] www.alicedimicele.com

It comes as little surprise that Alice DiMicele has been on the scene for almost 30 years as her sound – described as ‘groove folk’ and ‘acoustic soul’ -  echoes back to Joni Mitchell’s dalliance with jazz, and I was also reminded in places of Rosie Vela’s 1986 Steely Dan influenced release Zazu.  Throw in DiMicele’s multi octave vocals and you have a quite intriguing release that combines elements of folk, jazz, rock and soul.

Recorded at the old Steve Miller Ranch built in the 1970′s, Swim – DiMicele’s 13th independent release, was engineered and mixed by Grammy award winning producer Dennis Dragon (Captain and Tennille, Johnny Rivers, Carole King) with special guests, friends and band members including Bill Payne (Little Feat), Jeff Paver (Ray Charles, Rickie Lee Jones) on guitars, dobro and lap steel, virtuoso violinist Darol Anger, and a top notch horn section.

It’s a veritable melting pot of roots with a twist at every turn – breathy Hammond B3 keys, gospelesque vocals, western and Americana-tinged fiddle, some marvellous dobro and lap steel, and Tex-Mex horns when least expected.

It’s strange because I normally baulk at anything jazz influenced, but the sparse arrangements and DiMicele’s vocals on Swim have got me hooked.  An album of rare quality and one to be savoured.  ****

Review by Pete Whalley


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