phrase, “You’ve come a long way,” means a lot to Dida Pelled. At the age
of 21, she’s already making a name for herself in jazz.
Her journey began in native Israel, where she accumulated extensive
experience as a guitarist and vocalist. Obligated to serve in the
military, she spent two years performing at high-profile events for the
Israeli Army. Upon her release, Pelled set her sights on the United
States, where she enrolled at the Berklee College of Music and later The
New School Univesity in New York City.
Trumpeter Fabio Morgera discovered Pelled playing gigs in the New York
area and introduced her to trumpeter Roy Hargrove and drummer Gregory
Hutchinson. Like others, they were impressed by her sound. Those meetings
ultimately led to her first release, Plays and Sings (Red Records,
2011). Her accompanists are Hutchinson and bassist Tal Ronen. Hargrove and
Morgera appear on selected tracks.
Pelled’s trio, assisted by Hargrove, delivers a delightful take on Wes
Mongtomery’s “Fried Pies.” The jaunty trumpet lead carries the song for
the most part. Pelled emulates Montgomery during her parts. Hargrove also
contributes to the fresh take on Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off
You.” The trumpet provides a nice touch, injecting fills behind Pelled’s
voice during the second verse. Hutchinson’s timely cymbal splashes adds
some extra seasoning.
“Ir Atzuca – It’s a Sad City” is a tranquil piece, beautiful despite its
melancholy mood. Pelled takes advantage of the instrumental piece to show
off her guitar dexterity. She makes it seem easy as she mixes rhythm
chords with lead notes.
Prior to the release of Plays and Sings, Pelled played with a variety of
accomplished artists and performed at such venues as Birdland, Small’s
Jazz Club and other notable landmarks.