11

Hilary Gardner/Ehud Asherie: The Late Set

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
If you're looking for the definition of a class act, look no more. This is most certainly it. With The Late Set, kindred spirits Hilary Gardner and Ehud Asherie make us simultaneously pine for an era long gone and appreciate what's right in front of us.

If you've followed either one of these artists, their simpatico sensibilities should come as no shock. Gardner delivered one of the most meaningful paeans to New York in recent memory with The Great City (Anzic Records, 2014), graced a Broadway stage to lend her voice to Twyla Tharp's Frank Sinatra-focused Come Fly With Me, continues to share the vocal spotlight with fellow charmer John Dokes in the George Gee Swing Orchestra, and matches wits with gal pals Melissa Stylianou and Amy Cervini in Duchess, a Boswell Sisters-inspired trio that's made its mark in the past few years. Asherie, having delved into days gone by with tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, multi-reedist Ken Peplowski's quartet, and all by his lonesome, has carved out his place as one of the finest pianistic purveyors of aged gems operating today. Both of these artists, while walking different paths, always stand out as old souls and valuable exponents of what the Great American Songbook can offer and teach us. That fact is magnified when they join forces.

If you've been lucky enough to see this pair live, the magic needs no explanation. They put across a winning blend of casual expression and sophisticated artistry that's self-evident. Everything they create comes out as fine art without the slightest hint of artifice. This recording, presenting nine vintage numbers shaped with nuance and care, emphasizes that point and captures the spirit of their live shows.

Most of the selections presented here are deep catalog chestnuts from our finest composers and songwriting teams, widely acknowledged or not. Al Dubin and Harry Warren make it onto the scorecard first with "Shadow Waltz," an album opener that gently glides along while referencing how old songs take on new meaning in love's hands, and "Sweet And Slow," a piece that musically mirrors its advice to get off the fast track and appreciate the simple pleasures of time spent with another. The former proves to be a perfect scene-setter for this pair while the latter remains as relevant today as it was eight decades ago.

Those who prefer to take comfort in the familiar will likely connect with "After You've Gone," penned by Henry Creamer and Turner Layton; "Make Someone Happy," delivered unto us from Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Jule Styne; and "Everything I've Got," written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. But the majority of this material doesn't play toward popularity. Instead, Gardner and Asherie usually take the roads less traveled, covering those songs that we don't necessarily encounter very often. In many cases, it's those numbers that possess the stronger draw and deeper connective strengths. The depressive threads sewn into Rodgers and Hart rarity "A Ship Without A Sail," for example, can't help but appeal to the soul through sympathy. This is the kind of album that can both connect to modern times and hold high appeal as a throwback statement.

Track Listing: Shadow Waltz; Sweet And Slow; A Ship Without A Sail; After You've Gone; I Never Has Seen Snow; I Used To Be Color Blind; Everything I've Got; Make Someone Happy; Seems Like Old Times.

Personnel: Hilary Gardner: vocals; Ehud Asherie: piano.

Title: The Late Set | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Anzic Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Hide Ye Idols CD/LP/Track Review Hide Ye Idols
by Troy Collins
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Spavati, Mozda Sanjati CD/LP/Track Review Spavati, Mozda Sanjati
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Playing the 60s" CD/LP/Track Review Playing the 60s
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Trio Stonk: Live At Smalls" CD/LP/Track Review Trio Stonk: Live At Smalls
by David A. Orthmann
Published: November 4, 2017
Read "Backlog" CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "A Meeting Of Spirits" CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Serious Play" CD/LP/Track Review Serious Play
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "Smooth Shake" CD/LP/Track Review Smooth Shake
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 3, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor