if the moon turns green…

    There has been a lot of buzz around Diana Panton since her first CD was released in 2005, and as all of us cynics know, sometimes buzz is justified and sometimes it isn’t. In Panton’s case, I am happy to add my voice to the chorus of praise and report that the buzz is utterly justified. Her second CD “If the Moon Turns Green” is a gorgeous collection of star-and moon-themed standards. And even though they are mostly familiar songs - although there are a few rarities - this French teacher from Hamilton brings an indefinable je ne sais quoi to the material that is at once fresh and traditional. Perhaps it is her devotion to melody and ability to impart a lyric with complete sincerity. Je ne sais pas. I just know that her renditions of Destination Moon and So Many Stars are as warm and comforting as buttered toast. Of course it helps to have la crème de la crème working with you, and Reg Schwager on guitar and Don Thompson on bass and piano, are brilliant supporters.

    With her gift and the market’s apparent appetite for mainstream vocal jazz, Panton could be as successful as that other Diana. So why some enterprising record label or agent hasn’t yet snapped her up and introduced her to the world, is beyond me. But the world’s loss is our gain, so next time you see Panton on the bill of a local jazz club or festival, run to see her up close, while you still can.