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Album Review: Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio’s It’s Time

This exercise in jazz, funk, and soul has it’s ups and downs.

Kevin Ashley

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This week, we’re starting off with the Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio’s album, It’s Time. The Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio is a funk/soul/jazz group, split between the USA and Switzerland. It consists of three members: Rose Ann Dimalanta (vocals, keyboards), Raymond McKinley (bass), and Massimo Buonanno (drums). The album was released on November 16th, 2018, and is sure to be an interesting listen.

First up is the track, “Forever Day by Day”. Immediately, the rhythm is established with slow drumming, 70’s keyboard pads, and audible bass grooves. Dimalanta’s vocals fit the music perfectly, the soul vibes very strong. About three-fourths of the way through the song, there is a jazzy instrumental break that’s nice. Good start so far.

Next is “10 Miles to Empty”. Opening with clacking percussion, bass, and some soft synth pads, some off-beat synth stabs join in, lending a Herbie Hancock Thrust-esque vibe. The song continues in this vein all the way through, making this the first jazz-focused song.

“Dinner For One” starts off with some soft piano, and very soft synths. The vocals are more on the traditional side, and generally it’s an extremely calm song. About halfway through, some brass synth keys show up, and stay with the song till the end. It’s also the longest song on the album.

Next is “Seven Days”. Opening similar to “Dinner for One”, this one is jazzy right from the start. The synth presences is much more forward in this one, with chords and pads right up front. I don’t know what style of jazz this is, as I haven’t heard much besides a little bit of jazz fusion. There is no vocals in this song, besides some nonsense vocalizations. I really like the synthiness of this one, and it’s surprisingly easy to listen to. 

“Happily’s Never After” is a blend of  “Forever Day by Day” and “Seven Days”. Soul-like vocals, but amped up piano and drumming. There’s a few space-y synth parts scattered throughout, combining the best of all worlds.

“Measure of a Man” is instrumentally similar to “Dinner For One”, and includes some kind of stringed instrument (possibly synthesized) in the background. I feel this one could have used some more musical elements to separate it from “Dinner”, as both feel very similar. This one also is only half the length, but feels just as long to listen to.

“Truly Love Someone” continues the trend of “Dinner” and “Measure” with the drumming and piano. Surprisingly, there’s some male vocals in this one, but I’m not sure if it’s McKinley or Buonanno. There’s some synthesized brass in this one as well, differentiating it from the two aforementioned songs.

“Latin Soul” brings back the jazz, but this time it’s almost fusion-y. The bass is very prominent, and the synth isn’t afraid to show off here and there. Again, like “Seven Days”, there’s basically no vocals besides some vocalizations. Strangely named, as I don’t really get any Latin influence, but still a very good song.

“Miles” opens similar to “Dinner”, “Measure”, and “Truly”, seemingly placing the album into two categories: jazzy, and piano focused. I like the jazzy ones a lot better, as the piano ones get very same-y feeling after awhile.

“No Goodbyein'” is back to the soul-jazz blend of “Forever”, but with a distinctly funky sound this time. The synth is equally presented, making this a generally all-round good song.

“Mad Run” pretty much only consists of vocals, synth pads, some few piano notes here and there, and some very mild drumming. Similar in vein to the rest of the piano-driven songs on the album, but without the piano. Because of this, it stands out a bit more from those.

The finisher, “That’s All”, is another piano one. This album is sure filled with these, right? It doesn’t really stand out from the others, as they all sound very similar in terms of instrumentation.

This album was kind of a mixed bag for me. I really liked the jazz oriented “Seven Days”, “10 Miles to Empty”, and “Latin Soul”, as well as the balanced “Forever Day by Day”, “Happily’s Never After”, and “No Goodbyein'”. The piano oriented ones were all decent, but after a while they blended together. Overall, I consider it a decent album, but I  wish the album focused on the jazz aspects over the piano.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Kevin is a graduate from Central Washington University, where he was awarded a Bachelors degree in Professional and Creative Writing. He currently lives in Silverdale, Washington, where he explores new food and drink, goes to concerts, and works on personal projects.

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