So sweet when they stir it up.
Terry Blaine and Mark Shane are endearing musicians and very dear people, and I was thrilled to be able to attend and record their informal concert at the Croton Free Library in Croton-on-Hudson on May 8. They’ve been working together for nearly thirty years, which shows in their genial swing and deep intuitive feeling for the music.
Terry Blaine is one of the finest singers you haven’t heard enough about. Her speaking voice alone is full of light and shade, girlish enthusiasm and real depths; her singing voice is a watercolor landscape in itself, wistful, hinting at shadings that she does not overemphasize. When I’ve heard her sing a familiar song I am always thrilled to hear its inner self revealed at last. Tenderness and sweet swing pedal along side by side in her expressive gentle art. She takes as her model the extraordinary Ethel Waters, but she is her own woman, and we are so glad of that.
Mark Shane is the frolicking brook to Terry’s serene voice, the dancing waters and rippling sounds, the Jess Stacy to her Helen Ward. As we listen, we hear them both, complementing each other playfully but never demanding our attention forcefully.
Here is what I wrote about Terry and Mark and their newest CD, SWINGTIME DUET: MY BLUE HEAVEN, in 2014.
But now it’s 2015, and I can share selections from this magic, quiet, affecting evening with you. Listen to Terry’s caressing voice, to Mark’s just-right accompaniment and solo. Admire the easy way they make two old songs sound new and one that might be new to you sound comforting, wise, and true. Float on their sweet tempos — they both know everything one would want to know about the Blessed Land of Medium Tempo. If you’re not smiling because of this music, I don’t know what to say to you. I certainly am.
HONEYSUCKLE ROSE (so easy and sweet!):
BREAD AND GRAVY (Hoagy for Ethel):
MY MELANCHOLY BABY (which has passed from being over-requested to rare and obscure, which is a pity, since it’s such a lovely song):
There will be more songs from this concert, I promise you. But one doesn’t gobble down the finest cuisine, nay nay.
This post is specifically for my dear Aunt Ida Melrose Shoufler, who loves Mark and Terry as I do.
May your happiness increase!