There's a special sort of intimacy achieved when a singer performs with the accompaniment of only one instrument. On this CD Kate Reid explores that in a big way, recording duets with two different pianists and three different guitarists.
Reid has an appealingly husky alto voice with a casual coziness that adapts nicely to the styles of her various duet partners. Guitarist Paul Meyers makes a sensitive foil for her on Billy Strayhorn's "Something To Live For" and brings a jaunty swagger to Duke Ellington's "Lucky So And So." Larry Koonse breezily glides through "Confessin'" as Reid shows off her silken scatting ability. Then on Joni Mitchell's "Two Grey Rooms" he provides a dreamy, folk-inflected mesh of acoustic and electric guitars under a vocal performance that highlights the similarities of Reid's voice to Mitchell's mature sound of the 70's. Romero Lubambo brings a dramatic edge to the set with his intricate samba rhythms on Fred Hersch's "Stars" and thick, tender chords on Ivan Lins' "Minds Of Their Own" which enhance the sensual glow of Reid's singing.
Elsewhere Reid is accompanied by one of two excellent pianists. Taylor Eigsti fills in a lush backdrop on the subtle torch song, "Busy Being Blue" and injects some drama into the homey philosophy of James Taylor's "Secret Of Life." Then there is Fred Hersch himself who displays his talents three different ways on his tracks. He is as icy and minimal as Ran Blake on "No More," does compact, subtle swinging on an up-tempo "If I Should Lose You" and plays elegant, drawling stride piano on "Lazin' Around With You."
For all the fine work the guitarists and pianists do, the center of the session is Kate Reid. Her voice is a deep, sensual instrument full of easy charm and grace, never seeming to stretch for notes. Her voice is intoxicating in this close setting. She makes a lot of wonderful music with her five partners and produces an exceptional work of vocal jazz.
Something To Live For; Confessin'; No More; Two Grey Rooms; Stars; Busy Being Blue; Just A Lucky So And So; Secret Of
Life; If I Should Lose You; Minds Of Their Own; Lazin' Around With You.
Kate Reid: vocal; Taylor Eigsti: piano (6,8); Fred Hersch: piano (3,9,11); Larry Koonse: guitar (2,4); Romero Lubambo: guitar
(5,10); Paul Meyers: guitar (1,7).
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