3

Judy Philbin: Keeping It Simple

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Judy Philbin: Keeping It Simple Vocalist Judy Philbin and guitarist Adam Levine explore the close confines of the jazz vocals-guitar duo. From a production point of view the complexity lies less in the sonic alchemy that jazz is and more in the proper selection of songs to perform. A third of the songs are original compositions, two by Philbin alone and two by Philbin and Levine. The remaining two-thirds are from as early as Irving Mills' "Moonglow" (1933) and as late as Roy Orbison's "Blue Bayou," with the majority of the music being earlier than later. With all duos and duets, there is alway the daunting "no place to hid" environment that requires performance levels above more elaborate ensembles.

When treated appropriately, a duo performance like that of Philbin and Levine produces a recording, at once, that is warm and intimate. The pair easily accomplishes this with their compelling mixture of popular standards and originals. A "Moonglow" as familiar as your grandparent's living room and a "Skylark" so perfectly balanced bookend the original "Django's Delight," a clever song that quotes Dizzy Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts" before revving up into a Le Hot Club de France stroll down the Left Bank. Philbin's voice is no nonsense, pliable and studied, easily slipping from the contemporary- folk "Keeping it Simple" into a period setting of "The Nearness of You.."

Standout, over-the-top is a plaintively authentic reading of "Besame Mucho." Levine summons that low Latin guitar and Philbin sings in the original Spanish. Plainly, this performance is so close it is fragrant with Spring humidity and the evening dinner. Oklahoma's "Surry with the Fringe on Top" bounces with mirth and fun, Philbin navigating R&H's modulations so that the song melds well with those surrounding it. As a total program, Keeping it Simple works well on every level, hitting all of the highpoints making it a very enjoyable disc.


Track Listing: A Wink and a Smile; Moonglow; Django’s Delight; Skylark; Keeping it Simple; Nearness of You; Besame Mucho; Surry with the Fringe on Top; Nova; Blue Bayou; Why Do Fools Fall in Love; Don’t be Easy On Me.

Personnel: Judy Philbin: vocals; Adam Levine: guitar.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!" CD/LP/Track Review Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Old Door Phantoms" CD/LP/Track Review Old Door Phantoms
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 5, 2016
Read "Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5
by Doug Collette
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Sus" CD/LP/Track Review Sus
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Live in Japan" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Japan
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "The Unquiet Sky" CD/LP/Track Review The Unquiet Sky
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!