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Vocalist Mary Pearson's CD You and I is interesting in that each song is a duet in which she is accompanied by a lone instrument. It may be a piano (Lynne Arriale on four tunes, Fred Hersch on two), a guitar, a bass, or on two tunes, drums. While Pearson doesn't delve into scat singing or daring improvizational flights, her interpretations, phrasing, and articulation are excellent. Of the dozen tunes on the program, nine are standards and three are very competent Pearson originals. Most of the tunes are love ballads, and Pearson's husky, legato alto adds a measure of seductiveness to each one. The sparse one-instrument accompaniment on each song keeps the proceedings soft, interestingly interactive, and intimate. (Arkadia Jazz 71325)
Tracks: Lazy Afternoon; The More I See You; Take Five; What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life; I Am Yours/You Are Mine; Thou Swell; You and I; In Your Arms; How Long Has This Been Going On?; My Funny Afternoon; I Can't Believe; Over the Rainbow. (55:00)
Mary Pearson - vocals; Steve Davis - drums; Lynne Arriale, Fred Hersch, David Lahm - piano; John Hart - guitar; Harvie Swartz - bass.
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.