Daily Archives: January 15, 2023

CAIT JONES and MICHAEL KANAN: “WHERE OR WHEN”

Michael Kanan, Neal Miner, Cait Jones, November 2022.

Please take a few minutes to savor this interlude:

I find this performance, in its apparent simplicity — two vocal choruses with an introduction and coda — very impressive in its understated ways. There’s the way that Cait and Michael respond to each other, her conversational phrasing, his intuitive tapestry of shifting harmonies, their reverence for Rodgers’ melody, for Hart’s words.

As the song itself describes an experience both new and deeply, mysteriously familiar, so does this performance. We’ve heard WHERE OR WHEN many times, but Cait and Michael make it new, surprising: the questions the song asks are real, unanswered, perhaps unanswerable.

And they are real questions, both ethereal and plain, as Cait asks them in the lighthearted manner she might wonder aloud, “Where did I put my pinking shears?” “When were we supposed to go to dinner?”

Michael is serious at the keyboard, as is his wont: creating subtle orchestrations right at the moment requires concentration. But Cait seems at points almost ready to “bust out laughing,” as they say. I feel that her mirth is pure pleasure: what it must feel like to have such a voice, easily navigating a wonderful song, with the one, the only Michael Kanan playing piano.

Who knows where or when? Cait and Michael do. Their music is the roadmap and the timepiece for our hearts.

May your happiness increase!