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I admit it. I am raving mad for the Great American Songbook, particularly from for the first three decades of the 20th Century. That same madness extends to acts specializing in this repertoire. Recently pianist Mike Jones further established himself as keeper of the roaring '20s flame with his exceptional trio recording, Roaring (Capri Records, 2016).
Another equally successful group specializing in this music of the front end of the last century is the duo, Sundae + Mr. Goessl: vocalist Kate Voss and guitarist Jason Goessl. The pair's previous recording, Cheek to Cheek (Self Produced, 2014) successfully laid the groundwork their engaging swing-era act. Makes My Heart Sway makes solid the argument that this music should be preserved and done so in a conservative manner. Jason Goessl has golden abilities, but never plays just to show them off. He provides ready-made support. His walking bass on the original title piece has just the perfect patina of old and new. The song swims well with the baker's dozen standards populating this disc.
Voss' voice shares with Goessl's guitar, the light sepia tone that makes these performances so delicious. Whether the frantic "Love Me or Leave Me," the sweetly innocent "One Note Samba," or the quaintly colloquial "Young At Heart," Voss embraces these songs with a tender affection and respect. Outstanding is the ultra-slow "Nature Boy" where Goessl and Voss reach that rare triple point of performance where performance and composition meld in to a single continuum. The revelation of the release is the bonus track, "Pretty Little Thing" a sophisticated blues delivered with a clever panache and dark kiss-off. Voss purrs her contempt while Goessl strums the Hot Club backing. Nice going guys.
Track Listing: Love me or Leave Me; Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans; Stompin’ and the Savoy; Low Down Man; Young at Heart; One Note Samba; Makes My Heart Pretty Little Thing.
Personnel: Kate Voss: vocals, Jason Goessl: guitar.