All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
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.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.