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Spirituals and soulful ballads comprise this first duo album from guitarist Michael Nickolas and singer Ray Greene. From Boston, the pair has worked together on other ventures: 17 years. Their empathy shows up in the seamless manner they employ to interpret each smooth song. Theirs is a mature product. Greene sings these comfortable melodies with a sensitive touch and heartfelt accuracy. Nickolas accompanies on both acoustic guitar and a blues-filled, amplified model with down-home charm. Together, they've put together a session that soothes. Their online audio and video samples provide evidence. The best part of the album comes on "Here's That Rainy Day," where Nickolas improvises a brief interlude, and on "Heaven Help Us All," where Greene interprets poignant lyrics with sublime passion. Bob Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door" closes the session by turning up the emotional fires just a bit. Theirs is a gentle session, designed for healing.
Track Listing: We Got By; Hold My Hand; Hearts Horizon; Cecelia; When I Fall in Love; I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know; Heaven Help Us All; Here's That Rainy Day; They Can't Take That Away From Me; Landslide; Knocking On Heaven's Door.
Personnel: Michael Nickolas- guitar; Ray Greene- vocals.
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.