22

Josh Kyle / Sam Keevers: Songs Of Friends

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Josh Kyle / Sam Keevers: Songs Of Friends
It's a simple concept. Josh Kyle's voice, Sam Keevers' piano and a selection of Songs Of Friends. It's a beautifully executed concept though: voice, instrument and compositions blend together in a worthy tribute from the young Australian vocalist.

Kyle's friends are all Australian jazz musicians and writers. He's taken their tunes, added his own lyrics and joined with Keevers—a long-time inspiration—to breathe life into the resulting songs. There's two tunes by Keevers, three from saxophonist Sean Coffin, one by pianist Daniel Gassin (an ex-band mate of the singer). There's also "One Moment, Please" by vocalist Kristin Berardi—on which Kyle retains the original words as well as music.

Songs Of Friends opens with a Keevers tune, "Simple Pleasures." Gently rolling piano opens the song, then Kyle swoops in with his first phrase, "My heart is yours, my love is pure." It's a stunning entrance, Kyle's alto voice sounding almost androgynous at first, with the emotional openness (if not the fragility) of Antony Hegarty, from Antony and the Johnsons. The voice is as pure as the love he expresses in the song.

Keevers proves to be a graceful and unselfish accompanist. He has a strong, percussive, left hand when necessary—well-suited to Coffin's upbeat, punchy, "All The Reasons" and "Breathe." He's also capable of playing with a far more delicate touch, as he shows on two of the album's more downbeat songs. On "Cutez" (Coffin's third contribution) his introduction builds slowly and gently towards Kyle's vocal entrance, his playing setting a mood to match that evoked by the lyrics. On "Ballad Of The Cranes," his own composition, Keevers brings a more spiritual feel to his playing to complement the imagery of Kyle's words.

Kyle opens Gassin's "Crossover" alone, the purity of his voice emphasised once more on this meditative song. He keeps close to Berardi's own version of "One Moment, Please." It's a slow, stately, ballad with melancholy words and Kyle and Keever give the tune plenty of space to work its magic.

Kyle recorded his debut album, Possibilities (Jazzizit, 2011), with top-flight British players when he was resident in the UK. The stripped-down accompaniment on Songs Of Friends gives his voice more exposure and it doesn't disappoint. Keevers is a fine pianist: Kyle is a confident, stylish singer and lyricist. Let's hope there's plenty more to come from the duo of Kyle and Keevers.

Track Listing

Simple Pleasures; All The Reasons; Cutez; Breathe; Ballad Of The Cranes; Crossover; One Moment, Please.

Personnel

Josh Kyle: vocals; Sam Keevers: piano.

Album information

Title: Songs Of Friends | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced

Post a comment about this album

Tags

View events near Sydney
Jazz Near Sydney
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Read How Can We Wake?
How Can We Wake?
Josephine Davies
Read Blue Has A Range
Blue Has A Range
Steve Cardenas
Read Then Now
Then Now
Rob Brown - Matthew Shipp
Read Human Dust Suite
Human Dust Suite
Miki Yamanaka
Read You're It!
You're It!
The Mike Melito/Dino Losito Quartet
Read TEST and Roy Campbell
TEST and Roy Campbell
TEST and Roy Campbell
Read 4K
4K
Modasaurus

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place 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 effort that will help musicians 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 bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

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