Kristin Korb: Beyond The MoonBy
With Beyond The Moon, Korb acknowledges Mercer's classic contributions, his partnerships with a variety of top-notch tunesmiths, his foundling lyrics, and the completeness of artistry in his work. In doing so, Korb shines in much the same way that Mercer did, packaging her many skills together. She's long been praised for her dual talents as bassist and vocalist, but her gifts as arranger, composer, and interpreter shouldn't be overlooked. All of it comes together beautifully across these eleven songs.
Korb and her simpatico trio matespianist Magnus Hjorth and drummer Snorre Kirkkick off the program with an appropriately cheery "Too Marvelous For Words" that swings and delights. A stop-and-shift-on-a-dime crispness is evident in the music from the get-go, as is ingenuity in the arranging. Solo breaks, stops, scat singing, hits, and shifts in feel from 4/4 swing to a buoyant waltz feel and back again are all part of this well-formed opener. Hjorth's take on "Baby, Don't You Quit Now"a collaboration between Mercer and jazz piano great Jimmy Rowlesfollows, providing immediate contrast. It's a mellow swinger that's fairly direct in presenting its musical intentions. Then there's Otmaro Ruiz's Brazilian-flavored arrangement of "Something Tells Me (I'm Falling In Love)," complete with a burning solo from Hjorth; a bluesier-than-usual "Midnight Sun," intoxicating to the ear; and a "Jeepers Creepers" that cooks, plays with phrasing, puts everybody in the spotlight, and highlights Kirk's brushwork.
The literal midpoint of the albumKorb and Hjorth's "Twilight"is a marked departure from what comes before it. It's a staid offering that moves with a semi-classical bearing, and the first of two originals that hold no connection to the man of the hour. The bossa-tinged, Korb-penned title track is the other one.
The four other numbers on the program all turn back toward Mercer and his history. "I'm Old Fashioned," pointing to his work with Jerome Kern, finds Kirk's brushes dancing with delight; "Moon River," born of the marriage of Mercer's words and Henry Mancini's music, provides a mellow respite; and "Here You Are" and "Right Under My Eyes" dress Mercer's previously-unused lyrics in new music that works like a charm.
Korb could've played it safe by simply filling an album with old Mercer classics done up in rote fashion, but she didn't. Instead, she sought to give a fuller picture of the man by putting her own skill set(s) to the test. It paid off in the end. Beyond The Moon is beyond great.
Too Marvelous For Words; Baby Don’t You Quit Now; Something Tells Me; Midnight Sun; Jeepers Creepers; Twilight; I’m Old Fashioned; Beyond the Moon; Here You Are; Moon River; Right Under My Eyes.
Kristin Korb: bass & vocals; Magnus Hjorth: piano; Snorre Kirk: drums.
Title: Beyond the Moon | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: DoubleK Music
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About Kristin Korb
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