Sunday, Jan. 25, 2004
Dani Siciliano's voice is such a classic jazz instrument that one expects her to break into an improvised scat at any moment. Yes, her voice is somewhat thinner and higher than that of Ella Fitzgerald or June Christy, but she shares the same stylish phrasing. Siciliano doesn't so much sing lyrics as skip through them, bouncing off a consonant here, drawing out a vowel there, turning every line into a laugh or a sigh.
Siciliano is best known for adding her sultry sounds to Matthew Herbert's recent projects, but though Siciliano likes jazz plenty, as her new solo album "Likes" attests, she likes a lot of other things as well. "Walk the Line," the album's current dance hit, is a chatter of funky beats coalesced into a two-step electro bomp. "One of These Days," is a little closer to the jazz idiom, but its trembling accordion solo makes it more gypsy than jazz. Throughout the album (produced almost entirely by herself), the most conventional moments are leavened with weird samples and quirky bits of noise.
Nirvana's "Come as You Are" is all come hither in Siciliano's cover. "Memories," she sings on the chorus, stretching out the second syllable as if thinking of something at once delicious and dangerous. Even Kurt Cobain would be charmed.