Ori Dagan’s Less than Three <3, ScatCat Records, features the young crooner’s talents as vocalist, scat-singer, composer and arranger. The setlist includes three originals, two in Hebrew, one in English (“Googleable”) with pianist Mark Kieswetter; covers of tunes associated with Sinatra, Gaga, Elton John, Madonna, and for old time’s sake, “Sweet Georgia Brown.”
Ori’s baritone is syrupy smooth viola-mellow, comfortably seeking the middle register. His phrasing can be daringly improvisational, with a tendency to round off corners to support that smooth effect he’s after. He can scat fast, no doubt about it, and he has a sense of fun. I’m not crazy about smooth, but a direct thing in his approach is attractive.
Less than Three <3 has an all-star musical crew including the aforementioned Mark Kieswetter, piano; Ross MacIntyre, bass; Nick Fraser, drums; Chris Gale, tenor saxophone; with special guest Jane Bunnett on soprano saxophone.
This album, Ori Dagan’s second, is by design less than jazz, more something-for-everyone, especially lovers.