Daily Archives: October 4, 2012

STEPHANIE and PAOLO: FOUR HANDS, LIGHT SPIRITS, BEAUTIFUL MUSIC

It’s always gratifying to find people who Play Well Together, who know how to support as well as take the lead — like great graceful dancers.  Two eminent examples are stride / swing pianists Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi, who have created a new CD called TWO FOR ONE, which always sounds like a good bargain.

Many piano duets — especially of stride players — can unintentionally turn assertive, with one musician attempting to outdo his / her partner, Faster, Louder, More, More, More.  The audience stands and cheers for Swing Armageddon, and it is of course technically dazzling . . . but occasionally more belligerent (in a playful way) than musical.

None of that for Stephanie and Paolo, who revel in a gorgeous lightness of being on a beautiful assortment of songs, tempos, and approaches: I NEVER KNEW / THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR THE SUNRISE / ‘DEED I DO / TEMPTATION RAG / ST. LOUIS BLUES / BINK’S WALTZ / EXACTLY LIKE YOU / I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS / AFTER YOU’VE GONE / BEGIN THE BEGUINE / CHARLESTON / TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE / RUNNIN’ WILD / WE’LL MEET AGAIN.

It’s a wonderful recital, full of delicate subtleties of light and shade.  You can learn more about their duets here.

I can’t play you the CD (you’ll have to take care of that on your own) but here are two videos of this amiable pair in concert, gracious yet never timid, precise but never stiff.

The first video was recorded by Tom Warner in January 2012 in Leawood, Kansas, and the second at a house concert in Palos Verdes, California, in December 2011:

For more details on their very gratifying CD duo recital, be sure to visit Stephanie’s site.  And while you’re discovering more about this young woman’s music, sign up for her email newsletter, with videos and more information to follow.

May your happiness increase.

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SWINGMATISM AT THE EAR INN: HARRY ALLEN, JON-ERIK KELLSO, CHRIS FLORY, NEAL MINER (Sept. 16, 2012)

More wonders from the Downtown Hot Spot of Rhythm, The Ear Inn (326 Spring Street, Soho, New York) where memorable jazz gets created without fanfare or fuss on Sunday nights from 8-11 PM by a roving band of alchemists calling themselves The EarRegulars.

On September 16, the Regulars were Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Harry Allen, tenor saxophone; Neal Miner, string bass; Chris Flory, guitar.  Here are two examples of sweetly pungent mastery:

JUST IN TIME, a romp with echoes of Sinatra and Dean Martin:

I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH ME, originally recorded as a rhythm ballad — one of those songs that is taken faster and faster, but here returned to Charlie Christian / Ruby Braff tempo, so sweetly and persuasively:

May your happiness increase.