Stan Getz (featuring Astrud Gilberto): It Might As Well Be Spring

This Rodgers & Hammerstein gem from the 1945 film State Fair has long made the rounds as a jazz standard and receives a beautiful reading here. The leader and Gilberto play off each other right from the top with Getz weaving obbligatos in and out of her fairly straight reading of the melody. Getz plays a fine, though somewhat disjointed solo, which is almost anticlimactic following the lithe intertwining he performs with the singer. Given the light and smoky tone of both Stan and Astrud, the ensemble sounds like the archetypal jazz group laboring away in some bohemian Greenwich Village nightclub. Indeed, the album purports to have been recorded in just such a setting. The problem is, it's not true. The live tapes were deemed unusable by Verve and the band was sent to the studio for retakes. The results were issued with ersatz applause, and—all things being fair in war and the record business—everyone lived happily ever after. Although the liner notes credit guitarist Kenny Burrell as playing on this track, for the life of me I can't hear him (unless he was one of those providing ersatz applause in the studio).

September 04, 2008 · 0 comments


Brad Mehldau: It Might As Well Be Sprng

In this debut trio recording, Mehldau stays in a straight-ahead groove. The later Art of the Trio recordings would take more chances, with their rhythmic pyrotechnics and the trademark left-versus-right-hand counterpoint that Mehldau does so well. But the trio swings with elegant drive on this Richard Rodgers' standard, and the pianist's improvised lines sparkle. Grenadier and Rossy support rather than challenge, and the whole performance stands out for its understated fluency. A promising debut with intimations of the riches to come.

December 30, 2007 · 0 comments


Kate McGarry: It Might As Well Be Spring

McGarry has developed a conversational way of phrasing that is very effective in bringing a lyric to life. Other vocalists may hit the notes, but McGarry tells a story. Even an old song, such as this Rodgers and Hammerstein warhorse, sounds fresh in her arrangements. She feints, she slides, she slows down and speeds up, she chirrups brightly or whispers darkly, she twists the melody into unfamiliar shapes – but all very unaffectedly. Even when she reaches for a high note or a dramatic flourish, the move seems natural and essential to the emotional content of the music. I expect great things from this young singer.

November 20, 2007 · 0 comments


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