One of Australia's best kept musical secrets would be vocalist Nicola Milan.
Brent Black www.bop-n-jazz.com
In a conversation about critics with Yellowjackets saxophonist Bob Mintzer he told me, "Not everything sucks, all artists have something to offer." Maybe...The problem is in the tightly clustered pack of female vocalists over 75% are saying the exact same thing, 20% are best served working the local lounge circuit and only 5% seem to be separating themselves from the pack with anything that peaks the interest of the intellectually creative listener. Nicola Milan and Forbidden Moments checks in with originality, elegance and a vibe that might be best described as contemporary vintage.
To begin, Nicola Milan serves up a release of all original music and lyrics with her talent as a lyricist possibly surpassing her vocal ability which is certainly worthy of high praise. Milan's lyrics are well conceived short stories of connectivity. These lyrics can transport the listener on a personal journey or invoke memories of highly relateable days gone by thus creating the all important gift of connectivity that vocal artists long for. The ensemble cast here is large by traditional standards yet the presentation is deliciously intimate and falls into the category of the sexy little black dress, sophisticated yet deceptively dangerous.
Milan's vocals are in full effect on the smoldering tango "The Scent Of Her Perfume" and the blues infused torch song "I Begin To Understand." The instrumental track "The Lonely Flute" is another Latin influenced number that reconfirms the strong lyrical presence and harmonic base of a delightfully entertaining vocalist. Normally I cringe when reviewing female vocalists as the sad but true fact is not all pretty girls can sing. Nicola Milan would be the exception to my somewhat flawed premise. In describing her vocal presence one could refer to the musical happy place somewhere between Sade and Diana Krall but with a slightly smoky finish.
Nicola Milan is an original finding her own artistic voice in a genre of corporate clones genetically enhanced for your listening pleasure. A thoroughly entertaining release from an artist with mad skills and potential to match.
Be sure to check out her website at www.nicolamilan.com and preview her talent for yourself.
Tracks: No Room For Promises; Love Me More; Faire L'Amour; The Waiting Game; Siren's Song (vocalese); The Scent Of Her Perfume; Medicine Man; I Begin To Understand; Wrong Words; The Lonely Flute.
Personnel: Nicola Milan: Vocals, Tambourine; Ben Clarke: Piano, Organ, Accordion; Pete Jeavons: Double Bass, Electric Bass; Michael Perkins: Drums; Michael Collinson: Tenor Saxophone, Flute Clarinet; Rick Webster: Guitar; Marcio Mendes: Percussion; Ashley Arbuckle: Violin; Sam Timmerman: Trumpet.