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Vince Lewis & Barbara Martin: Fresh Air

C. Michael Bailey By

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Guitarist Vince Lewis and vocalist Barbara Martin, longtime friends and musicians, join forces for an intimate trio recording of staid standards and compelling originals on Fresh Air. Joined by bassist Paul Langosch, who lends a solid and unobtrusive foundation, Lewis and Martin deliver a program this is as well crafted as it is spontaneous and crisply presented..

Lewis is an accomplished and precise guitarist, using all five right-hand fingers, eschewing a plectrum. This method of playing frees the guitarist to employ bass and rhythm lines with playing a melody on the higher strings. Lewis uses his considerable skills to provide a seamless and complex carpet of sound over which Martin's sturdy high alto may slide and glide. On Wes Montgomery's "West Coast Blues," Martin trades the funk and grease for a more refined approach to swings as hard on the concert stage as the corner bar. The originals, "Fresh Air" and "Start of a Beautiful Song" exist homogeneously with the standards, complementing them with their "newness."

Martin shines brightly on "But Beautiful" and "The Nearness of You," demonstrating her peerless ballads chops. Martin takes a solo shakes with a lovely "Like Someone in Love" playing with an understated lyricism. Where Joe Pass would have crammed every note he could have possibly played between the chords identifying the piece, Lewis chooses carefully, never sacrificing melody for technique. The Great American Songbook and the music it inspires remain a sturdy and durable corpus for creativity. That is what Vince Lewis and Barbara Martin prove with Fresh Air.

Track Listing: West Coast Blues; Fresh Air; Start of a Beautiful Song; Feelin’ the Flame; Happiness; Dangerous Mind; What is This Thing Called Love; But Beautiful; S’ Wonderful; Like Someone in Love; In the Dark; Just in Time; The Nearness of You.

Personnel: Barbara Martin: vocals, guitar; Vince Lewis: guitar; Paul Langosch: bass.

Title: Fresh Air | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced


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