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

More Articles

Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Moment Frozen CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Minor Step CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read A Meeting Of Spirits CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read First Light CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "In Layers" CD/LP/Track Review In Layers
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Escape  from The Unhappy Society" CD/LP/Track Review Escape from The Unhappy Society
by Anthony Shaw
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "The Other Shore" CD/LP/Track Review The Other Shore
by John Sharpe
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain" CD/LP/Track Review So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain
by John Sharpe
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Domains" CD/LP/Track Review Domains
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 13, 2017
Read "Song of the Free Will" CD/LP/Track Review Song of the Free Will
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 16, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.