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CD REVIEW: Deldra McCutchen (Deldra) - Night & Day

By: Cyrus Rhodes











Artist: Deldra McCutchen (Deldra)
Album: Night & Day
Label: DEC Productions

Genre: Jazz, Chill
Sounds Like: Billy Cobham, Miles Davis, Chris Botti,
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Jazzmatic, Paris, Cool Cats
Weakness: Short sided CD, Winded Songs



Orlando Florida’s own Deldra McCutchen or Deldra just released her latest CD entitled Night & Day released in 2011. Deldra is also owner of DEC Productions a recording & production company. Besides playing all instruments on this CD Deldra also produced & mixed this CD as well.


The CD gently takes to flight with “After Dark” an intoxicating intro piece that flows &ebbs its way through to musical fruition. This first piece serves up impressive Jazz groove against dynamic jazz soundscapes of impressive piano & Hammond organ chops. The CD makes a great first impression & literally grabs your attention with its smooth musical flow. Track 2 “Catch” keeps things moving in the same direction with more full tilt Hammond organ chops, well placed percussive accents, dynamic rhythms & hooky bass line. Track 3 “Sensual” a more marketable piece that serves up easy flowing rhythm section, against mesmerizing keyboard melody &  silky groove. The CD makes a great first impression providing 3 solid musical experiences in a row. Musical textures reminiscent of classic Billy Cobham, Chris Botti, Miles Davis, George Duke & even classic Tony Williams. As the CD slowly unfolds you will notice most of the songs are very smooth & easy flowing in nature, with crystal clear hi end clarity & solid low end feel. The music itself goes down well & fills the sonic space with what I would describe as peaceful tranquility with all the qualities of smooth jazz & even elements of chill. Deldra clearly has a keen musical instinct thorough her conservative writing & playing.  All in all the CD has some truly impressive moments showcasing impressive programming, sampling, songwriting, rhythm chops, dynamic grooves all rich in melody & flavor. What’s even more impressive is how well all the instruments share the sonic space together. I was entertained the entire time.  Another impressive aspect of this CD is how unselfishly Deldra plays her parts avoiding any showboating of any kind. She clearly knows how to play instruments the way it is meant to be played. Deldra is no slouch on drums as she pushes the natural accents with rock solid timing flow that sits deep in the pocket. From passionate “The Most Beautiful Flower” to dynamic “Jazzmatic” to heartfelt “Paris” to infectious “Flutealicious” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Free” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.


Track 2 & 6 end to quickly & feel like an incomplete statements to me.


After spending some time with Deldra it's hard to find any solid weaknesses worth mentioning. Instead as the CD progressed I became more & more impressed with the production as a whole. What I like most about the CD is it refuses to try too hard. Night & Day is an impressive musical production from start to finish. There’s not really a weak song on this entire catalog period! The songs are iinfectious & catchy. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair & signature groove. Last but not least - the playing, writing & production abilities of Deldra McCutchen are amazing. Deldra cleanly has musical talent & it should be dually noted she did all this work all by herself including the playing, mixing & writing. Trust me when I say Night & Day by Deldra will suck you in & never let you go.  


Cyrus Rhodes