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Nancy King: Live at Jazz Standard

Jim Santella By

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Nancy King's duo performance with pianist Fred Hersch on Live at Jazz Standard allows her to share emotional warmth—which she's portrayed naturally throughout a career that spans over forty years—with her audience in an intimate setting. King's personal interpretations of standards and other popular songs have always worked well in the duo format. Her recorded collaborations with Glen Moore and Steve Christofferson stand out as exceptional vocal jazz albums.

Her performances continue to exemplify the best in jazz singing. King delivers from the heart with a highly personal conception that paints pictures in your mind, through both lyrics and creative wordless adventures. She continues to reach for musical perfection, while remaining both singularly unique and convincing.

With pianist Hersch, her performance becomes sensual. Both artists collaborate at length on this passion-filled effort, merging together in a both harmonic and rhythmic groove. They close the night's session with two extended performances that sweep the audience members up and carry them away with big smiles on their faces.

Every duet works exceptionally well. "Ain't Misbehavin' swings in a Fats Waller kind of ambience in which we can always find a little humor. Both "Little Suede Shoes and "Day by Day prove rhythmically exciting; both vocalist and pianist push with an uplifting emotional fury. "Four saunters casually with a hip vocalese spirit, while several slower ballads take hold of your heartstrings.

King isn't one to overstate her feelings. She interprets each song with subdued passion and a natural feel for what's coming across. She and Hersch find spontaneity around every corner and within each phrase. Their highly recommended performance stands out for its originality, beauty and soulful depth.

Track Listing: There's A Small Hotel; I Fall In Love Too Easily; Little Suede Shoes/Day By Day; Everything Happens To Me; Ain't Misbehavin'; Useless Landscape (Inutil Paisagem); There Will Never Be Another You; Autumn In New York; Four.

Personnel: Nancy King: vocals; Fred Hersch: piano.

Title: Live At Jazz Standard | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: MAXJAZZ


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