Sometimes I hear music so touching that it leaves me — rarely at a loss for words — nearly speechless. The new duo CD by two of my heroes, Rebecca Kilgore and guitarist Andy Brown, did and does just that. It was recorded in performance fourteen months ago for Heavywood Records, and it is memorably intimate.
But before I get my verbalizing together, perhaps you should hear what I hear, at least two delicious offerings.
Listen to this (a song new to me, music by Victor Young, lyrics by Peggy Lee):
or this, music by David “Buck” Wheat, lyrics by Bill Loughborough:
Those performances should answer the question of why this disc is remarkable, but perhaps some words might be appropriate, like extra dressing on the already delicious salad.
I think, first, that “TOGETHER” and “LIVE” are beautifully candid descriptions of what you will hear.
Rebecca and Andy have a wonderful unity, even though their respective individualities shine through — it is as if they are wondrous listeners, the most sensitive and knowing musical conversationalists, who are both expert and eager to make something larger than their solitary selves spring into being. What results is warm, personal, and full of small sweet surprises.
The fact that this lovely music came out of a live performance is both understandable and a triumph. Jazz clubs are full of people who, even if they are not dropping cutlery (something I have been guilty of in capital letters) are busy shifting in their chairs, inhaling and exhaling — so many live recordings sound as if one is listening through a haze of low-level background noise, like looking at the beautiful landscape through eyeglasses that need a good cleaning. Not here: the sound is warm but not clinical. And both Rebecca and Andy are professionals who create memorable music under the least happy circumstances — the chilly isolation and pressure of the recording studio, and in Rebecca’s case, sometimes the “vocal booth,” which has all the physical ease of a coffin — they sound happy and free here, making spacious music.
There you have it. Two rewarding artists, a delightfully unhackneyed repertoire, a lovely intimacy. My only objection to this otherwise flawless CD is that I think the title needed an exclamation point. But no one asked me.
You can read a little more about it in the liner note, but I urge you to go right into the deep end of the pool and (whisper it) make a purchase. It will reward your ears and heart. The music can be downloaded through Amazon, Apple, Spotify, and I think other sources.
May your happiness increase!