Nola's Ark (Monique diMattina)
Monique diMattina is back, this time with Nola’s Ark, her most inspired album to date. Recorded in the thriving metropolis and birthplace of Jazz, New Orleans, during the hottest month of the year whilst twenty weeks pregnant, accompanied by a talented ensemble of musicians, this album will lead you on an unforgettable musical journey.
That aside, the recording is hot and a result of stellar musicianship with New Orleans good time sensibility. Deeply inspired by the roots music tradition, Monique paid homage to the history of New Orleans, Louisana, known to locals as NOLA and crafted her fourth studio album whilst living and breathing the deep music culture.
The famed downtown Piety Studios (Elvis Costello, John Scofield, Allen Toussaint) the vessel for this masterpiece, with an all-star crew including trumpeter Leroy Jones (Harry Connick Jnr Band) and bass/sousaphone man Matt Perrine (Dr John, Jon Cleary) and masterfully steered by producer Mark Bingham (R.E.M., Cassandra Wilson). Zonked from jet-lag and baby-growing, diMattina fell asleep randomly, and often, but the magic of the moment pulled them through. The outcome? Her best album yet!
Nola’s Ark is Monique’s fourth album and follows the critical success of 2010’s Welcome Stranger, the songwriters’ first foray into the vocal realm – inspired by overseas and hometown experiences alike. This new recording draws on the strong and poignant experiences of motherhood - the juggle and the struggle. Nola’s Ark also includes songs written on her unique 3RRR segment 'Shaken Not Rehearsed', writing and performing original songs, within the hour, live to air according to listener requests.
Nola’s Ark draws together echoes of Ramsey Lewis, Dr John, Nina Simone, Blossom Dearie and, the influence from a mother of two juggling it all, a panorama from sweet sonority to chaos and back. Superb.
The Album Players Are:
Eric Bolivar - drums
Matt Perrine - acoustic bass and sousaphone
Leroy Jones - trumpet
Rex Gregory - clarinet
Loren Pickford - sax
Richard Scott- accordion
Anthony Cuccia - percussion
June Yamagishi - guitars
Listen to the super gorgeous track "What's In A Kiss" here: