5

Harvie S / Sheryl Bailey: Plucky Strum

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Harvie S / Sheryl Bailey: Plucky Strum
Two musicians, two acoustic string instruments, and ten original works recorded live in the studio with no overdubs, edits, or fixes of any sort. That's Plucky Strum in a nutshell, but that's also unfairly reductive in its explanation of the project. For when the two musicians under discussion are as special and seasoned as bassist Harvie S and guitarist Sheryl Bailey, even the simplest of concepts can turn into something special.

While neither of these players is a stranger to duo settings, Plucky Strum marks the first time that these two had the opportunity to record together as a twosome. The result? Beautifully unassuming music that shows both players to be engaging conversationalists, pillars of support, and strong writers.

The playlist for Plucky Strum is chock-full of dedications. "Woods Talk," which opens the album, and "S And S," a bop-based contrafact on "Sweet Georgia Brown," are nods to this musically woodworking duo; "For Jimmy," which has Bailey painting over some soothing arco bass at first sight, is the guitarist's tip of the hat to guitar great Jimmy Wyble; "Charlie Haden" speaks to the titular figure's melodic directness and ability to always choose the right notes; "Saint Nick," penned in praise of bassist Nikki Parrott, exhibits a strong sense of swing; and "To Bea," Harvie S' homage to his dearly departed mother, comes across as a cheerful celebration of life.

The remaining tracks, which are no less agreeable, aren't attached to any specific figure(s): "Bluzin' F" is exactly what is says it is, "Ghost Dancer" is a gently flowing piece in three with a haunting guitar introduction, "Broken Glass" is a bossa-ballad hybrid, and "Before"—written by Harvie S on September 10, 2001—ends the album on an mesmerizing and sorrowful note.

While both players get plenty of solo space throughout, there's nary a superfluous gesture or unnecessary phrase to be found on Plucky Strum. There's too much wisdom and experience between these two for them to fall into a showboating trap. Instead, musical acumen, unerring taste, and simpatico sensibilities carry the day.

Track Listing

Woods Talk; Bluzin' F; Ghost Dancer; S And S; Broken Glass; To Bea; For Jimmy; Charlie Haden; Saint Nick; Before.

Personnel

Harvie S: acoustic bass; Sheryl Bailey: guitar.

Album information

Title: Plucky Strum | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Shapeshifters
Reuter / Motzer / Grohowski
Tales From The Jacquard
Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra
Dreamer
Pamai Chirdkiatisak
Music Room 1985
Wayne Krantz
Tumaini
Berta Moreno Afro-Jazz Soul Project
Stories
Roni Ben-Hur

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.