Wesla Whitfield and Mike Greensill are deeply authentic. Her voice, his piano, are full of wise passionate energy. They don’t glide over the surface of the songs they choose; rather, they embody the lyrics and honor the depths of the melody and harmonies.
Like many of you, I had been fortunate to hear their recordings, but I don’t think I truly appreciated their work fully until this year’s Jazz at Chautauqua. Here are two masterful performances from Thursday, September 19, 2013, where they are given subtle, knowing support from Kerry Lewis, string bass, and John Von Ohlen, drums. On UNTIL THE REAL THING COMES ALONG, Duke Heitger sings with great feeling through his trumpet, as he always does.
Mike is a masterful accompanist, suggesting, supporting, commenting but never intruding, but I was particularly captivated by the emotional range of Wesla’s singing, from elegantly thoughtful to intensely raw. What art is here in their dramatic musings on The Great Subject.
“If that isn’t love, it will have to do”:
“Love is funny, or it’s sad”:
May your happiness increase!