Texas-based Mood Indigo is a jazz duo composed of multiple-instrumentalists Joe Romano and Susan Elliott. The duo's music tends toward the organic "Hot Club" type: largely acoustic, and elegantly wrought. The pair's first recording, Oh, Solo Duo (Self Produced, 2001), was a well-received collection of standards delivered in a sharp, piquant style that is readily accessible and enjoyable. The same can be said for the duo's holiday offering, It's Christmas Eve.
Romano and Elliott toss a lone Celtic tune, "Gloucestershire Wassail," into their assembly of traditional holiday fare. Dating to the Middle Ages, the song celebrates both a bountiful apple harvest and the hope for an equally bountiful new year, coupled with the Yuletide celebration. Romano's robust acoustic guitar and harmonic play perfect foil to Elliot's joyful alto. Romano sings with a Broadway lyricist's voice, at once both functional and resourceful. Amid all of the "standard" Christmas tunes, "Gloucestershire Wassail" lends an antique element to the canon.
Personnel: Joe Romano: guitars, harmonicas, vocals, bass, MIDI sequences, whistles;
Susan Elliot: vocals, piano, tambourine, whistles.
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total)
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total). He saw an alto sax on my neck and said: Hey, how about you there, would you like to play something for us? I played a piece with the piano. OK, said Lee, how about you play something unaccompanied? Oh yeah! I was deep into transcribing Sonny Stitt and pretty much into playing as fast as possible as many right notes as possible. So I played Oleo in about 300 beats per minute and was very proud of myself. Lee was tapping his foot all the way through. Hmm, he said, that was in time and all that... (I thought - yeah, of course, haha!) and then he said, You've got a lot of quantity, how about quality? It took me 15 years to realize what he meant.