Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Tommy Cecil: Our Time: Sondheim Duos, Volume 2

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count
This is the follow-up to the 2012 Side By Side: Sondheim Duos by the same brilliant pairing of Tommy Cecil, bass, and Bill Mays, piano. From the opener, the jaunty "Everybody Says Don't" (from Anyone Can Whistle, 1964), it's clear that this 2013 session will unfold like the first—laced with superb technique, imaginative arrangements, feeling and wit. And also like Volume 1, this session neatly punctures the old cliché that Sondheim may be a gifted lyricist, but cannot write beautiful melodies; once again, these players bring each gem to full gleam with the power and variety of their interpretations.

In fact, three of Sondheim's most gorgeous tunes are here: "Johanna," with its yearning message underscored by Cecil's rich arco; "Losing My Mind," where Mays uses dissonance to suggest the process of doing precisely that; and the anthemic "Being Alive," a favorite cabaret belter that gets a more thoughtful and jazzy treatment here. On the rollicking numbers, Cecil and Mays provide consistent delight, which is an increasingly rare commodity among today's popular sounds. There is playfulness and discovery here, especially when the two trade fours and sprinkle quotes.

Among many such moments, there's a "Bye Bye Blackbird" interchange in the midst of something else, an abrupt and funny nod to "The Toreador Song," and a fade-out vamp with classic "Killer Joe." And meanwhile, it all swings like crazy. All told, Our Time provides the ideal musical combination: it's food for the brain, joy to the ears, and a boost to the spirit.

Track Listing: Everybody Says Don’t; Johanna; Our Time; Moments in the Woods; Finishing the Hat; The Miller’s Son; Losing My Mind; The Best Thing That Has Ever Happened; Agony; Being Alive; Rich and Happy.

Personnel: Tommy Cecil: bass; Bill Mays: piano.

Title: Our Time: Sondheim Duos, Volume 2 | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Tommy Cecil

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read School of Fish Album Reviews
School of Fish
By Dan McClenaghan
March 23, 2019
Read Blood Album Reviews
Blood
By John Sharpe
March 23, 2019
Read Around Again: The Music Of Carla Bley Album Reviews
Around Again: The Music Of Carla Bley
By Jerome Wilson
March 23, 2019
Read Hydro 2 Album Reviews
Hydro 2
By Mark Corroto
March 23, 2019
Read Old School Revolution Album Reviews
Old School Revolution
By Chris M. Slawecki
March 23, 2019
Read Cuando Sea Necesario Album Reviews
Cuando Sea Necesario
By Dan McClenaghan
March 22, 2019
Read West 60th Album Reviews
West 60th
By Peter Hoetjes
March 22, 2019