With a Song in My Heart
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With a Song in My Heart
This kind of album can only result from the interplay of seasoned yet tirelessly inventive musicians who would rather lay out than revert to cliché. Trumpeter Lew Soloff, whose daunting résumé charts a trajectory from Blood, Sweat & Tears to the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, displays his interpretive prowess on classics such as the title cut, "Come Rain or Come Shine," and "The Way You Look Tonight." He is backed by a rhythm section to die for: Mulgrew Miller on piano, George Mraz on bass, and Victor Lewis on drums. Soloff's wife, Emily Mitchell, plays the harp on two cuts, one of which is a movement from a Tchaikovsky symphony. The CD consists of nine tunes, which are nicely sequenced and balanced and, not incidentally, suffused with feeling. The music commands attentive listening, and that is just what the players here are doing with each other: while Soloff sustains a note on "I'm a Fool to Want You," Miller responds with a lovely phrase that Soloff picks up in the next breath. Sparkling exchanges like this abound here; not a note is taken for granted, and that's what jazz improvisation, at its best, is all about. --Karen Bennett
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I didn't get what I expected, but I wasn't wholly disappointed either. There is a time and a place for music such as that presented on this CD, and that time and place is in any romantic setting when the lights are low and you are taking it slow.
The opening cut promised perhaps a little bit of up-tempo ambience, but the mood slips quickly into a laid-back, easy flow on subsequent cuts before winding up with a spirited rendition of the title song.
My favorites are Come Rain or Come Shine, Deguello, and the Near-Eastern flavored Istanbul.
Not everyone will like this CD. Those who like and understand traditional jazz stylings will be more likely to enjoy it than will those who prefer modern jazz or fusion. And, if you are looking for horn-driven funk/rock, forget it.
But I find it perfect for laying down a sophisticated and unobtrusive background ambience at the office in addition to the romantic settings for which it is seemingly tailor-made.
I immediately ordered "With A Song In My Heart" when I returned home and immediately took to all 9 tracks. This album has more tasty arrangements; thoughtful and insightful instead of trying to blow you away.
I highly recommend the CD for those of you wanting to step up from that terrible "smooth jazz" fluff and instead - want to listen to something that is "real" jazz with a smooth touch. You won't be disappointed.