Hard to believe when hearing her powerful and moving singing, but Paloma Dineli Chesky is 14 years old. Despite her youth, her vocal maturity is astonishing. Singing, playing piano and composing from a very early age, for several years she has performed her own compositions with the New York Philharmonic, has been guest artist with Jazz at Lincoln Center, and has held solo concerts at leading NYC venues.
Her first album, last year’s Thirteen, concentrated on her own compositions, but here she demonstrates the breadth of her repertoire, reaching back into the gospel, blues and soul traditions. As a glance at the titles will show, among the songs are those associated with Robert Johnson, Revd Gary Davis, James Brown and Bob Dylan.
Interestingly, Chesky also presents thoughtful interpretations of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller’s Hound Dog and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ode To Joy – surely rare for these two songs to appear side by side on the same album. That said, such is the singer’s skilled artistry they do not clash but appear as compatible musical associates.
Throughout, Chesky’s sometimes gritty delivery ensures that her interpretations of lyrics are wholly in keeping with the soulful origins of most of the music. Her accompanists here are fully supportive, and while there is no doubt that the spotlight is firmly on the singer there are good solo moments from guitarist Mississippi Dave and keyboard player Dave Chesky. The latter is her father, a noted American composer and performer, her mother is Brazilian actor and singer Patricia Dinely, and her twin brother Lucca Dineli Chesky is an accomplished pianist-singer-dancer.
On the strength of Soul On Soul alone, Paloma Dineli Chesky has already attained a standing in the world of music few singers achieve after three or even four decades. This album by an exceptionally talented artist is strongly recommended.
Something’s Got A Hold On Me; Meet Me In The Morning; Death Don’t Have No Mercy; War; I Heard It On The Grapevine; It’s A Man’s Man’s World; Nobody’s Fault But Mine; Love In Vain; House Of The Rising Sun; Hound Dog; Ode To Joy (46.52)
Dineli Chesky (v); David Chesky (kyb); Mississippi Dave (g); John Marshall (b); Kevin Clark (d). NYC, January 2022.
The Audiophile Society