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Pianist Monika Herzig presents her second Owl Studios album in combination with award-winning documentary filmmaker Susanne Schwibs. Come With Me is a unique CD/DVD project that includes a 30-minute story of her work including an interview, concert footage and special features of live performances. The music though, is the main course of this dish served warm, tender and delicious with every tasting. Offering a majority of originals, Herzig was astute enough to also include fresh arrangements of covers by Bob Dylan, Cole Porter, Paul Simon and the legendary Hoagy Carmichael.
The musical journey of Come With Me begins with "The Pianists Say," a Herzig original featuring saxophonist Tom Clark on soprano, as the pianist establishes herself with a strong performance. The music turns soft and humble on the title track highlighted by the airy play from violinist Carolyn Dutton accompanied by the pianist's soft approach on the keys. The most upbeat and perky piece on this disc is "Ole," a Spanish-flavored number featuring percussionist Joe Galvin and the drumming talents of Kenny Phelps, along with Dutton and Clark.
The "Italian Taxi Ride" is a swinging road trip, while Dylan's classic "Blowin' in the Wind" provides Herzig with an opportunity to strut her stuff in an intimate trio setting. A new arrangement of Porter's immortal tune "What is This Thing Called Love?" sounds like this is a new chart, as the melody is hardly discernible. Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years" is certainly one of the highlights of the disc, with the pianist turning in a smart performance aided by Clark's gorgeous tenor phrasings. After the slightly Brazilian-tinged "Paradise on Ice," Herzig puts the icing on this cake with a solo performance of Carmichael's "Georgia," demonstrating, quite effectively, why she is such a gifted musician.
An enchanting session of contemporary jazz performed with grace and elegance Herzig's Come With Me is an attractive and charming session of music.
Track Listing: The Pianists Say; Come With Me; Ole; Blowing in the Wind; Italian Taxi Ride; What Is This Thing Called Love?; Heavy Burden; Still Crazy After All These Years; Paradise On Ice; Georgia.
Personnel: Monika Herzig: piano; Peter Kienle: guitar; Tom Clark: saxophone, flute; Carolyn Dutton: violin; Joe Galvin: percussion; Kenny Phelps: drums; Frank Smith: bass; Steve Davis: drums (DVD).
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.