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This perfect coupling, this musical marriage with its velvety vocals and its pianistic perfection, is a rare delicacy. It is an album filled with melodious and harmonious manoeuvre, implemented with skill and with grace. Marilena Paradisi conveys raw emotion through her impressive vocal range; she scats, she soars, her voice as much an instrument as Kirk Lightsey’s all-encompassing piano. The overall sound is so much fuller than you might expect from a duo, with Kirk’s progressive harmonic range and quality of touch often presenting an orchestral-sounding accompaniment. But it is the intimacy of the interplay that most impresses.
Italian-born Marilena has been active on the international jazz scene since 1994, with an abundance of recording, concert and master class credits – at the very highest level. American-born Kirk is the consummate maestro. His credit list is of the finest pedigree and includes five albums with Chet Baker – oh, and he also happened to tour with Dexter Gordon from 1979-1983. The album’s title track is a beautiful rendition of Wayne Shorter’s winding and multifaceted Some Place Called Where. A complex tune delivered with clarity and composure. All the selections in this stress-free zone are lovingly crafted. Tunes such as Portrait (Charles Mingus) and Little Waltz (Ron Carter) and Dori Caymmi’s Like A Lover exemplify music that has been carefully chosen for depth and for sincerity.
The final track Fresh Air is a self-descriptive Lightsey/Paradisi original.
Kirk also treats us to a charming and lyrical flute solo. It’s the perfect conclusion to a perfect album. Marilena Paradisi Vocalist, composer, improviser, tireless explorer and experimenter in the use of the human voice, her work ranges from jazz to total improvisation and contemporary classics.
She is internationally recognised for the richness of expression and her talent for interpretation, with reviews in the top international magazines such as Jazzhot, Jazztimes, Musica Jazz, Jazzit and Cadence. Between 2002 and 2014 Marilena released 7 albums as a leader, in collaboration with both Italian and international musicians.
She spent three months in Mumbai, India researching Ragas and classical Hindustani song. Here she sang with the great Indian pianist Louis Banks and his trio at the Bangalore Jazz Festival and at the Blue Frog in Mumbai. Marilena has performed concerts and master classes all over the world; in Italy, Finland, USA, India, France, Portugal, Spain and Germany.
Kirk Lightsey was born in Detroit in 1937. A veteran yet consistently a trendsetter, he long ago developed his own sound within the hard bop tradition. He started playing piano when he was five, although he also played clarinet while in high school. He later studied with Johnson Flanagan, Tommy Flanagan’s brother.
Hugh Lawson and Paul Chambers introduced him into jazz. The three performed in the school orchestra with Ron Carter and Kiane Zawadi. Lightsey worked in Detroit and California in the early ‘60s, often accompanying singers. He gained some attention in 1965 when he recorded with Sonny Stitt and was on five Prestige records with Chet Baker. However, Lightsey mostly had low-profile gigs until he toured with Dexter Gordon (1979-1983). He also became part of The Leaders (a sextet with Arthur Blythe, Chico Freeman, Lester Bowie, Cecil McBee and Don Moye). Kirk has more than a dozen releases as a leader, most of them on Sunnyside and Criss Cross.
Artista: Marilena Paradisi & Kirk Lightsey
PUBBLICATO IL: 04 SETTEMBRE 2017
Genere: JazzMore info