**Dhyana debuts at #15 on CMJ Jazz Charts- 5/19/11**
"Wood’s debut album, Dhyana, charts a path of constant diversity. It starts off with “Comes Love,” a back-pages classic that’s usually approached with a bluesy swing. Her version begins with a pattern from upright bassist Blake Meister that could well be the first 15 seconds of an old A Tribe Called Quest track, then drummer Nate Jolley kicks in with a bouncy hip-hop beat. Through it all, Wood’s voice is viscous and strong, sensitive but centered. She reads the classic tune’s airy, “oh well” lyric with a knowing sensibility beyond her years (she turns 24 in a week).
Over the next three tunes, Wood sings in Brazilian over a bass-congas-steel pan combo (“Pra Que Discutir Com Madame”); gives a robust if relatively traditional reading to a classic, poignant ballad (“The End of a Love Affair”); and completely refashions a lesser-known Wayne Shorter piece (“Hold on to the Center [House of Jade]”). “House of Jade” was originally a slow-burning, Eastern-influenced dirge, but Wood turns it into a mid-tempo tune with a modern Latin groove and adds a personal set of lyrics that reflect her album’s title. (Dhyana is a word from Buddhist scriptures representing a process of contemplation and self-discovery.)
From here, the album continues with a song in French (the beguiling “Syracuse”), an original (the intimate ballad “For the Meantime”) and a few more standards with inventive arrangements. Throughout, Wood’s voice has gravity and, appropriately, self-awareness; it’s the strong epoxy holding together this varied collection of tunes.
This is only the beginning of what’s on pace to be a fascinating, dynamic career."
“The Duke Ellington School of the Arts graduate moves fearlessly up and down octaves, all the while maintaining a distinct sense of purpose. She can explore the upper register in a beguiling waft, or plunge into the basement with buoyant, swelling articulation.”
-Giovanni Russonello, Capital Bop