I would say that what follows is a once-in-a-lifetime performance, but every time I’ve heard Hilary Gardner sing or Ehud Asherie play, such things have happened with wondrous regularity. This epiphany took place on May 18, 2015, at that shrine for music, Mezzrow.
As readers of JAZZ LIVES know, I am not one to hyperbolize, but I remember clearly the delighted anticipation I felt when this performance began: “Oh, my! They’re going to do that song? And at that gorgeous tempo?” For I USED TO BE COLOR-BLIND, certainly not a well-known song, had been “swung” by Fred Astaire and Mildred Bailey in its original incarnation in 1938. We don’t acknowledge Irving Berlin sufficiently as a writer of the most gorgeous love songs, but this is one. I couldn’t hold my breath for three minutes, but it felt as if I was doing just that, so delicious the immersion in rare feeling.
Hilary and Ehud understand the song’s emotional center: the lover’s astonished delight at finding experiences and perceptions changed utterly. One’s familiar world now made brilliant. And that transformation is something to savor, second by second, note by note:
I marvel at this. Such healing tenderness, such rare art. It’s a rainbow.
May your happiness increase!