Phil Kelly: My Museum
Phil Kelly & The SW Santa Ana Winds
My Museum (Origin 82468)
Greta Matassa (vocals), Darin Clendenin (piano), Clipper Anderson (bass), with woodwinds and strings conducted by Phil Kelly.
Composed by Phil Kelly & Marissa Dodge.
Recorded: Tacoma, WA, Alhambra, CA and Dallas, TX, May 2006
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
Seattle-based arranger Phil Kelly changes pace from his customary straight-ahead big band jazz to support the Pacific Northwest's premier vocalist, Greta Matassa, in a staggeringly beautiful ballad. Excepting a Freudian slip ("empty halls" become "empty holes"), Greta shows why her name's an anagram for Great. And Kelly's consummate orchestration elevates what easily could've been schmaltz to sublimity. But the real star is lyricist (and, for the sake of full disclosure, Jazz.com contributor) Marissa Dodge. Gently guiding us past the romantic illusions that our hearts tirelessly project, she brings us with unswerving accuracy to that focal point of concentrated emotion where only the bravest love songs dare converge. A masterpiece.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz