The Aubrey Anne Duo
Wine in the Woods
West Milford, NJ
September 9, 2007
Wine in the Woods is one of a number of Northern New Jersey locales which hosts The Aubrey Anne Duo on a semi-regular basis. The familiarity between artist and venue gave this Sunday afternoon performance an endearingly casual quality. Early in the opening set, singer Aubrey Parasolle, guitarist Patricia Tamburello, and Alan Capalbo, the room's proprietor, entered into brief, impromptu conversations. Topics ranged from a recent break-in to the origin of the phrase "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea in Greek mythology.
When Parasolle sang, the details of these pleasant exchanges were left behind. Only in her mid-twenties, she's already a first-rate interpreter of a choice group from the American Songbook. A majority of the selections were Depression-era standards that boasted a sunny optimism about the consolations of romantic love. Parasolle sang tunes such as "I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me, "Ain't Misbehavin', and "Dream a Little Dream of Me, as if they were written for her and she believed in every word. A lesser talent couldn't make the lines, "You are the promised kiss of springtime That makes the lonely winter so long (from "All the Things You Are ), sound so natural and so meaningful.
Parasolle's somewhat thick-sounding alto is a more than adequate instrument. She eschewed vocal pyrotechnics, overly dramatic interpretations, and crowd pleasing climaxes in favor of taking subtle liberties that drew attention to the lyrics. Accompanied only by Tamburello's barely amplified guitar, it was easy to savor her every nuance.
Throughout "Almost Like Being In Love, Parasolle phrased slightly behind the beat, and at one point stretched out the word "love in a breathy tone. Briefly departing from her impeccable diction, she twisted and slurred a portion of "Exactly Like You. She clung to the last two words of "I Only Have Eyes for You, and a bit later brought her voice down to a near-whisper while repeating the line several times. The word-play on a medium- up-tempo rendition of "I Can't Give You Anything but Love stopped short of being too clever, as she clipped some words and hesitated before delivering others.
Besides her knowing, sensitive accompaniment, Tamburello was an accomplished soloist. Throughout the set, she sustained momentum while freely moving between chords and single note lines.