On Dream Lands, Nancy King continues her journey through American popular music, exploring not only classic standards, but other bits and pieces that have been hidden away in the nooks and crannies of the caverns of jazz vocal music. Previous journeys found her accompanied by guitarist Glen Moore. This time her traveling companion is pianist Steve Christofferson. These two are no strangers to each other having performed together at jazz venues and concerts in their home, the Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years. In addition to the piano, Christofferson employs the Melodica on several cuts. This instrument can best be described as an accordion keyboard without the bellows. It sounds like a cross between an accordion and a harmonica. When he uses this instrument, Christofferson creates an atmosphere which always fits right in with the image King is establishing with her singing. A prime example is the classic "Lazy Afternoon" where King's voice and Christofferson's Melodica beget that languorous, lethargic, but often sensuous, after lunch feeling which comes on a warm, hazy afternoon.
Showing their versatility, the blues are visited with a bit of funk on "Blue Station" where King engages in some relaxed scatting. Her intelligent wordless scatting skills are also put on display with good effect on "From Me to You". This is not the Beatles' Lennon, McCartney tune, but one by Charlie Smalls. The "Picnic/Moonglow" medley vividly recalls perhaps one of the most sumptuous scenes in motion picture history, the beautiful Kim Novak slowly sauntering down the steps of the raised dance floor to "Moonglow" all the time staring (leering?) at William Holden. Adding variety to the play list, King and Christofferson happily revive the 1943 Harold Adamson/Jimmy McHugh song they wrote for the film Higher and Higher and made popular by Sinatra, "A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening". The rest of the session is filled with performances which are equally as attractive. Nancy doesn't have a web page, but Steve does at http://www.teleport.com/~pelagic.
Track Listing: Talk to Me; From Me to You; Picnic/Moonglow; A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening; Like Someone in Love; You Say You Care; Lazy Afternoon; Crooked Road; Blue Station; When the Wind Was Green; Tomorrow's Another Day
Personnel: Nancy King - Vocals; Steve Christofferson - Piano, Melodica
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.