Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sherri Roberts Lovely Days Blue House 2013

Duet releases with vocals and a marginal accompanist are a dime a dozen. On 01/15/2013, Sherri Roberts will be dropping one of those pesky duet releases except this time without the vocalist as the center of the sonic universe, pianist Bliss Rodriguez shares equal billing. The end result of a cross-feed of energy that might given one the idea of what a live show may be like if you either live in or happen to be visiting the Bay area.

This would be Roberts fourth attempt at leader status and arguably her best thus far. Rodriguez is given ample opportunity to stretch out just a tad more with the end result are a selection of tunes that spring to life with an organic, honest and raw presentation while staying true to the root of the original melody. The disc borrows a cup of inspiration from the great Irving Berlin opening with "It's a Lovely Day Today" and "Isn't It A Lovely Day." Roberts and Rodroguez also do their own riff on Harold Arlen's "Hit The Road To Dreamland." Roberts and Rodriguez dig deep coming up with such forgotten gems as Rodgers and Hammerstein's "We Kiss In The Shadow" and the great Dave Frishberg's "Our Love Rolls On." Two personal favorites include "Nice 'n' Easy" and their own unique version of "Moon River" whose timing is ironic with the recent passing of Andy Williams.

What makes this release work is simple. Despite having Rodriguez stretch out a bit more the melodies remain virtually untouched minus the occasional reharm here and there. Do pull off an Irving Berlin cover without disrespecting yourself or the original is a thing of beauty and Sherri Roberts along with Bliss Rodriguez make it look so easy!

4 out of 5 stars!

Tracks:  It's A Lovely Day/Isn't It A Lovely Day; What'll I Do; Nice 'n' Easy; Soon It's Gonna Rain; Heart and Soul; We Kiss In A Shadow/I Have Dreamed; Our Love Rolls On; I'm All Smiles; Come Dance With Me; Like A Lover; Moon River; Hit The Road To Dreamland.

Personnel: Sherri Roberts: vocals; Bliss Rodriguez: piano.