Album Review of
Accidental Melody

Written by Robert Silverstein
March 3, 2023 - 5:28pm EST
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In 2023, Chicago’s excellent jazz label Southport Records released Accidental Melody, an album of all new material by singer-songwriter Joanie Pallatto. Accidental Melody features Joanie backed up by a range of top-notch musicians, including the album’s co-producer / guitarist Fareed Haque, a notable musician with a variety of jazz-fusion guitar albums to his credit.

Compared with Joanie’s 2021 album My Original Plan, the 13-track, 57-minute Accidental Melody is somewhat more acoustic based while showcasing a number of supporting musicians, including Eric Hines (percussion), Juan Pastor (cajon, percussion), John Christensen (acoustic bass) and Bradley Parker-Sparrow (piano).

Throughout Accidental Melody Joanie’s vocals and songs serve as a kind of security blanket that virtually protects your mind and ego. Key to the songs are the inspiring melodies and arrangements, while her memorable vocals and lyrics seem to melt like butter on the warmth of the music. Some tracks offer emotional solace while Joanie’s lyrics take you to the core of your being.

That sense of reassurance is more apparent on the album opener, the appropriately entitled “Surrender”. Another highlight of the album is the title song. A bossa nova inspired track, “Accidental Melody” is the perfect showcase for Joanie and Fareed to display their unique musical chemistry.

The spell-binding “Apart” gives the listener a reason to move ahead in uncertain times, while lyrically, “You Think You Know” imparts a welcome relief. Joanie’s lyrics are playful while Fareed’s tastefully reverbed guitar is a real treat so much so that, another album highlight, “A Shooting Star” is Joanie’s self-style tribute to Fareed’s fretboard work. The two final tracks on Accidental Melody, “Keeping Track Of Time” and “The Lost Year” are among Joanie’s best and most upbeat, groove-related songs on an album that will surely keep you coming back for more.

Every listener will surely have their own favorite songs on Accidental Melody, making the album one of the most appealing jazz-pop albums of 2023. Elements of pop, jazz and bossa nova merge into a memorable listening experience that at times sounds like a retro-flashback to the pop vocal innovations of the 1960s. That sense of Deja-Vu is further accentuated by the diversity of music magic that simply sparkles on Accidental Melody. After 17 albums as a solo artist, leader and/or co-leader, Joanie Pallatto truly hits her stride on Accidental Melody.