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Richie Beirach & Laurie Antonioli: The Duo Session (2005)

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Richie Beirach & Laurie Antonioli: The Duo Session How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Recorded in 1992 in San Francisco, this session of piano/vocal duets features a silky-smooth singer in performance with an expressive pianist. Their warm, endearing approach brings you into their circle with open arms and a heartfelt embrace. Together, the two artists interpret moody standards, hip reflections, and searing originals with candor.

Laurie Antonioli's clear alto voice and extensive vocal range allow her to express ideas and emotions freely and accurately. What she's thinking is what comes out naturally. Partnering with Beirach, she's confident and convincing. Richie Beirach's consonant harmonies and lush undercurrents provide a kind of acoustic depth that fills the room. His shadows cast far and wide. Each piece finds the pianist as musical partner to the vocalist, sharing in the experience with a lot to say.

They give "Green Dolphin Street" a moody texture and "Flamenco Sketches" a dreamy whirl. Miles Davis had passed away the year before this date, and he was surely looking down from above with a smile. The session runs solemn and moody, befitting the legacy that the trumpeter left behind.

Beirach and Antonioli collaborated on several original numbers, pouring the same heartfelt emotion into each one. They prefer slower pieces that allow ample room for patient expression. Their "Memories, Dreams & Reflections" summarizes the performance through its creative infusion and unique duet interaction.

Today, Antonioli is head of the Vocal Jazz Department at KUG University in Graz, Austria and Beirach is head of the Jazz Piano Department at Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy in Leipzig, Germany. They're working together again in live performance. It's time they recorded a few more duo albums to let a worldwide audience enjoy the spirit of their work. Surely any followup to this highly recommended album would feature the same wholesome music.

Track Listing: Flamenco Sketches; You and the Night and the Music; Blue in Green; On Green Dolphin Street; New Souls; The Island; Moonlake (Nightlake); You Don't Know What Love Is; Sounds from Your Heart (Elm); Memories, Dreams & Reflections.

Personnel: Richie Beirach: piano; Laurie Antonioli: vocals.

Record Label: Nabel

Style: Vocal


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