Album Review: Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio - It's Time

The Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio delivers a strong, versatile new album
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Rose Ann Dimalanta has been a prolific and in-demand musician, releasing eight solo albums under the name of "rad" between 1992 and 2009, all while touring the world, both on her own and as a member of Prince's band for his Musicology tour. It's no surprise then that her latest release with the Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio, It's Time, boats world class musicianship and just a bit of that latter day jazzy soul sound Prince used to chase.

It's also no surprise that other two members of the trio -- Raymond McKinley on bass and Massimo Buonanno on drums -- are world class musicians themselves. McKinley is a desired session player and has toured with the likes of Sheila E and Tower of Power while Massimo is one of the most respected drummers in Europe. All the musical talent in the world is meaningless though without good songs and, thankfully, the Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio delivers here too, with tunes that showcase not only the band's chops, but also its songwriting ability.

The album opens with the smooth groove of "Forever Day By Day." Dimalanta delivers a soulful vocal over electric piano and crisp drums. The song effectively merges the jazz and soul worlds to make something new and exciting. A slinky bass line permeates "10 Miles to Empty," a rhythmic track that showcases a falsetto vocal with a trippy spoken word interlude.

Dimalanta shows off her considerable piano chops on the ballad "Dinner For One." Clocking in at seven minutes, the song never seems long as Dimalanta gives a passionate vocal performance. "Latin Soul" lives up to its name, merging funk, jazz, and Latin, complete with ominous piano chords over Latin-influenced percussion.

"No Goodbyein'" is the album's first single and it is easy to see why. A funky pop song with a driving beat and memorable hook, it also shows off some humorous lyrics. This is pop the way it should sound.

The album ends with the appropriately titled "That's All," a torch song that features Dimalanta accompanying herself on solo piano. A beautiful track, it is a fitting way to end and a strong LP.

On It's Time, The Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio shows they are not just ace session players but ace songwriters as well. With strong musicianship throughout and plenty of memorable hooks and melodies, It's Time is the best of both worlds.

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