Home » Jazz Articles » Mary Pearson: You and I

153

Album Review

Mary Pearson: You and I

By

Sign in to view read count
Mary Pearson: You and I
You and I is a disc that had to grow on me over several listenings. And grow on me it did. My first spin left me mostly unmoved. The music and approach were interesting, but not novel. The concept of a vocal duet with various instruments is nothing new. It is not really that far out there that this disc had the voice coupled with each of the standard jazz rhythm section instruments. I had heard this all before with varying degrees of success. However, my subsequent listenings revealed a music of subtle richness, like a fine cup of coffee after dinner. This music is something to be acquired, savored and ultimately enjoyed.

You and I is the jazz modification of the classical voice-instrument recital. The majority of duets are the traditional piano voice configuration followed by guitar, drums and bass duets. The central instrument in all is the voice that is supplied by the very able Mary Pearson. Her voice is a seamless chameleon alto that purrs in one phrase and growls in the next. In all cases, Pearson sings with great lyricism and melody. The unadorned environment of the duet offers her ample room to experiment and otherwise show off her considerable technique and talent.

As one might expect, the piano duets (followed closely by the guitar setups) are the most accessible and effective pieces. For this recital, the brilliant balladeers, Fred Hersch and Lynne Arriale provide piano support for Pearson. In the Hersch propelled "Over the Rainbow" and the Arriale driven "My Funny Valentine" do we find the disc highlights. On the other end of consideration are the drum duets. In this setting, Pearson is given the maximum room to perform as the drums provide only the rhythm of the piece. I have a soft place for voice bass duets. The bass still allows a great deal of room but adds a harmonic element to the duet that the drums cannot. My only quibble with this disc is that only one rather than two pieces were framed in a bass-voice duet.

This is a very engaging disc that I would suggest to anyone needing music for that special evening. It would be equally at home as the background for a party or a more intimate occasion.

Personnel

Mary Pearson: voice / vocals.

Album information

Title: You and I | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Arkadia Jazz

Post a comment about this album


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.