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 grew up listening to my father's Jazz records and listening to radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's Jazz records and listening to radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.