Dalia Faitelson

Point of No Return

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Point of No Return Review

by David R. Adler

These brooding, original songs highlight the throaty, sensuous purr of Dalia Faitelson's singing voice, but her rhythm and lead guitar playing are also quite versatile and substantial throughout. Faitelson's talents extend even farther, in fact: she self-produced the record and wrote all the arrangements for her heavy-hitting band, comprised of Randy Brecker on trumpet, Chris Cheek on tenor, Lelo Nika on accordion, Thommy Anderson on bass, Adam Nussbaum on drums, and Ayi Solomon on percussion. Not unlike Basia Schechter and Pharaoh's Daughter, Faitelson's group filters a variety of ethnic elements through the prism of a signature sound, melding complex harmonies and rhythms with rock and pop undertones. "Birds, Planes & Flying Papers," the sole instrumental, picks up the tempo and brightens the mood, and the end of the program is particularly ripe with contrasts: first the angular jazz fusion of "The Informer," then the elegant interplay of acoustic guitar, soprano sax, and tabla drums on "Making Conversation." Nika cannot help but play a central role, whether he's contributing virtuosic solos or piquant accompaniments that lock in beautifully with the horns and percussion.

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