Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

CD Review: Dina Dean – 4 Songs

Her auspicious but all-too-brief debut. Always leave them wanting more, the saying goes and it’s never been more true here. Dina Dean is a lefthanded guitarist and in that tradition, she uses a lot of interesting, uniquely incisive licks and chordlets. She’s also a hell of a lyricist, a terrific storyteller with a fondness for weirdos and the down-and-out. And a hell of a singer with an alto delivery capable of minute yet very powerful subtleties. When she gets loud, which isn’t often, you know something’s up. These songs are all midtempo rock but draw deeply on classic 60s soul with a tinge of country here and there.

The album begins with Radio Song, a vivid late-night portrait of a neighborhood character who hangs out in the park with her radio amidst a whole lot of chaos

She’s counting down the top 10 from ‘65
When she should be counting sheep
Warming up some cold coffee
As she wonders why –
She can’t fall asleep

And then the chorus kicks in, driven by echoey Fender Rhodes piano, spiced with guitar and harmonica. The next track, Same Grace is a gospel-inflected tribute to street musicians everywhere:

Rivers rolling down your face
With an accent I could hardly trace
Singing about that Same Grace
That’s kept you here

Some of Them Days, with its swinging beat and soaring steel guitar has a warm, evocative summery feel. The cd’s final track Down in the Dust is a richly imagistic chronicle of an ancient dancer from the 1930s looking back on her trials and travails:

The queen madame of the minstrel
In my own travelin’ show
In the days of Silent Cal
And that no count Jim Crow
I was living high on the hog
In my ruby studded shoes
And went back to a hollow log
When jazz blew the fuse on the blues

Four songs, five bagels. Toasted with butter at some all-night joint. This cd is available for a ridiculously low price at shows.

June 5, 2007 - Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. […] CD review: Dina Dean – 4 Songs When jazz blew the fuse on the blues. Four songs, five bagels. Toasted with butter at some all-night joint. This cd is available for a ridiculously low price at shows. Dina Dean plays Sat June 9 at the Living Room at 10 PM. … […]

    Pingback by Jazz Radio » Blog Archive » jazz radio June 5, 2007 7:26 pm | June 5, 2007 | Reply

  2. […] Nov 8 Dina Dean plays solo at Rockwood,  7 PM, early. One of the great rock storytellers of our time, a fan of the […]

    Pingback by NYC Live Events Calendar 11/8-12/3/07 « Lucid Culture | November 7, 2007 | Reply

  3. […] could cut through over the band. They opened with The Same Grace, a song from her excellent recent ep, driven by gospel piano, and followed with another cut, the gorgeous, 60s throwback Radio Song with […]

    Pingback by Concert Review: Dina Dean at Rockwood Music Hall, NYC 11/8/07 « Lucid Culture | November 9, 2007 | Reply

  4. […] DEAN 4 Songs https://lucidculture.wordpress.com/2007/06/05/cd-review-dina-dean-4-songs At Rockwood Music Hall 11/8/07 […]

    Pingback by Index « Lucid Culture | January 28, 2008 | Reply


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