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Wendy Lewis and Bill Carrothers are outcats. By combining impressionism with cynical humor, they’ve come up with a cerebral session that’s both pleasant in its linear form and adventurous through its added dimensions. A jazz pianist from Minneapolis, Carrothers likes to vary from expected mainstream harmony and dress up his accompaniment with dense atypical chords. His solo romps swing with a light-hearted sense that can only come through a love for the music. Lewis’ lyrics are articulated well enough and they’re printed in the liner booklet; however, the deeper meaning takes hold only after studying the duo’s performance.
"She must know what’s good for me ‘cause she’s the one who’s on t.v." for example, is a poke at daytime talk shows. We can easily identify with Lewis’ work because she deals with everyday topics. To supplement the vocal presentation, Carrothers inserts light jazz interludes that belie his true talents. A straight-laced "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" comes with cool jazz piano fills. The sordid tale of Lizzie Borden is offset with a swinging jazz piano center section. Even the spirituals contain quirky piano harmonic tricks; it’s as if Alfred Hitchcock had turned "Jesus Loves Me" into a feature-length film. An accurate singer with a pleasant voice offers head-turning, thought-provoking lyrics while the jazz pianist supplies adventuresome counterpoint. What a concept!
Track Listing: Doll House; Ballad of Lizzie Borden; The Vacant Chair; America the Beautiful; Savior Self; Pas de Deux; Take Me Out to the Ballgame (Seventh Inning Stretch); Jesus Loves Me; H
Personnel: Bill Carrothers- piano, vocal; Wendy Lewis- vocal.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.