Independent recording artist Melani Skybell has released a CD entitled Just A Chase Away of her own making, one that is both surprising and just that good. As a vocalist, Melani exhibits a style that is graceful and sensually serene. Nowadays, jazz is inundated with smooth instrumentals and little if any female vocal versatility. As one would imagine, jazz beginners as well as connoisseurs alike have little to speak of when trying to add vocal jazz to their collections. Once Diana Krall, Dianne Reeves, Diane Schuur and Nnenna Freelon are mentioned, the list becomes quite short. Besides most smooth jazz radio stations do not even begin to feature vocalese of any kind, especially so if not of the pop/R&B variety. But independent study illustrates that with the right information, there are numerous jazz vocalists who will titillate one’s fancy. But with that being said, Melani Skybell is a singer who is definitely on the right track with her latest release.
Just A Chase Away is Melani's fourth album overall. Further examination reveals a path of delightfully refreshing vocal jazz that is effervescent, fresh and spontaneous. Of the eleven beautifully crafted tracks Melani has chosen to record, eight are Skybell originals and will definitely stand as one of the best-recorded sessions heard to date. The other three tracks are covers of very remarkable composers in their own right, one of which entitled "I’m Just A Lucky So and So" by Duke Ellington. As a classically trained pianist Ms. Skybell is able to augment her singing with a divine sense of instrumental purpose and individuality, as her ability to reach out and touch anyone within earshot of her voice is provocative, while her piano melodies breathe additional life into her songs. Two tracks in particular entitled "The Stars In Your Eyes" and "Dreamflight" exemplify the ease in which she goes from a catchy upbeat jazzy style to an enhanced slow moving groove. Another track entitled "Days Like This" is an attention-gathering tune highlighted by a toe tapping rhythmically correct beat. In addition, therein lies a sweet guitar accompaniment driving the melody as well, which provides further insight into Melani’s range and versatility.By all available levels of measurement, Melani Skybell is a female vocalist possessing talent that should be at the forefront of vocal jazz. She has a range, sensuality and subtlety about herself that speaks volumes about her ability to hold an audience captive. Her latest CD is mesmerizing, while containing a tonal quality that is amazingly inviting. From one track to the next Melani’s music connects on all cylinders and keeps the style of jazz known as vocalese worth the effort of listening. By any stretch, Melani Skybell is a great addition to any music collection and she should be one of the main focal points pointing to superb qualitative vocal jazz.