Darmon Meader, Losing My Mind Review
By Sylvannia Garutch
Darmon Meader is a vocalist, saxophonist, arranger, composer, and founding member of New York Voices. Meader is releasing his second project as a leader titled Losing My Mind. In addition to being the featured vocalist and tenor saxophone soloist, Meader arranged all the music. Meader is excited to share this music and hopes to bridge the traditional and new in an exciting way that will allow you to “lose yourself in” and tap into the creative energy and joy highlighted throughout the twelve selections.
The well-known standard, “It Could Happen To You,” introduces us to his warm vocal timbre and relaxed rhythmic delivery. The arrangement focuses on Meader’s singing, and the trio of Andy Ezrin (piano), Jay Anderson (bass), and Marcello Pellitteri (drums) keep the swing alive as Meader’s vocals proceed to impress. He sings the melody with style and finesse, but the real splendor comes when Meader sings new lyrics with horn like lines through the changes. Meader’s vocal range is impressive, and his finesse is constant throughout his range. The final singing of the melody really shows Meader’s imagination when augmenting the traditional melody, beautifully sung and performed.
Meader’s original, “Last Call,” is a pleasing composition with an intricate melody and modern sonorities. Vocalist Rosana Eckert joins Meader as the two navigate the multi-textured wordless song. Eckert scats first; her lines are clear and sound of the harmony and sit in the pocket with ease. Meader follows; his lines are elegant and rhythmically flow through the harmony with evident tensions and releases. Again, his vocal range is impressive and dynamic. The vocal harmonies during Ben Wittman’s drum solo are beautiful.
Darmon Meader reveals a diverse set of music with Losing My Mind. His scatting and singing certainly grab new fans’ attention, and those who already know Meader will be delighted by the diverse set of songs and ensembles. The music is elegant, and Meader’s voice comes full of passion and musical skill. Losing My Mind is a fascinating and enjoyable album full of twists and turns. Meader is not afraid to take chances and explore sounds as he effortlessly uses his voice as an instrument.