That Audrey Hepburn-ish coquette looking out at you from the cover of The Thief is Ana Velinova, and, man o man, has she collected (and written) a choice set of tunes with a pronounced element of Eros very sweetly delivered (I mean, that's the very essence of coquetry, isn't it?), so much so that you hardly know how well you're being seduced. Oh, and she's a poetess, too, which probably accounts for all of that. Here, I'll show you:
We shall move like warm molecular winds
You into me, me into you
That Ana chose Gordon Clements as her reedsman only enhances the pitch and delicacy of her voice and inflections, brings out aspects seen in careful contrast, not to mention that it amplifies the discretion directing all her work. Once Clements is done with his soulful lines in Could You See, Could I Say, though, she ushers in Misha Piatagorsky on piano for a way hip version of a one-man Ferrante & Teicher with a measure of Marcin Wasilewski thrown in as Willard Dyson goes nuts on drums in the background, Velinova larking about like a Stellar Jay on a beautiful but rambunctious day. That's I'm Movin' On, but the title hardly describes the be-bopping velocity of what all and sundry are doing.
Ms. Ana displays an exquisite hand in composition as well. Could You See, Could I Say was hers, and so is I Want You, a ballad that glides slowly into ears and hearts like a memory with no specific destination but plenty of wonder re: the mysteries of love and the searching heart. Vocally, she's of a girly-girl high register, that baby doll voice that stops even strong men in their tracks, suddenly weak and wall-eyed goofy, drooling and panting, hearing a cross between Betty Boop, Blossom Dearie, and Rickie Lee Jones, old-timey while right-this-moment. It's all jazz, though, with more than a little of Joni Mitchell's playful high side to it and, as you listen, you'll swiftly understand why Velinova is warmly welcomed on many shores.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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