Mary Pearson: You and I
You and I is the jazz modification of the classical voice-instrument recital. The majority of duets are the traditional piano voice configuration followed by guitar, drums and bass duets. The central instrument in all is the voice that is supplied by the very able Mary Pearson. Her voice is a seamless chameleon alto that purrs in one phrase and growls in the next. In all cases, Pearson sings with great lyricism and melody. The unadorned environment of the duet offers her ample room to experiment and otherwise show off her considerable technique and talent.
As one might expect, the piano duets (followed closely by the guitar setups) are the most accessible and effective pieces. For this recital, the brilliant balladeers, Fred Hersch and Lynne Arriale provide piano support for Pearson. In the Hersch propelled "Over the Rainbow" and the Arriale driven "My Funny Valentine" do we find the disc highlights. On the other end of consideration are the drum duets. In this setting, Pearson is given the maximum room to perform as the drums provide only the rhythm of the piece. I have a soft place for voice bass duets. The bass still allows a great deal of room but adds a harmonic element to the duet that the drums cannot. My only quibble with this disc is that only one rather than two pieces were framed in a bass-voice duet.
This is a very engaging disc that I would suggest to anyone needing music for that special evening. It would be equally at home as the background for a party or a more intimate occasion.
Track Listing: Lazy Afternoon; The More I See You; Take Five; What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life; I Am Yours / You Are Mine; You And I; In Your Arms; How Long Has This Been Going On; My Funny Valentine; I Can't Believe; Over The Rainbow. (Total Time: 55:00)
Personnel: Mary Pearson: Vocals; Steve Davis: Drums; Lynn Arriale, Fred Hersch; David Lahm: Piano; John Hart: Guitar; Harvie Swartz: Bass.
Record Label: Arkadia Jazz