Thursday, January 31, 2013

Heather Masse & Dick Hyman Lock My Heart Red House 2013

Lock My Heart Vocals with piano doing their own riff on some eclectic standards can be a dangerous thing, unless of of course you happen to be vocal artist Heather Masse and pianist Dick Hyman. Lock My Heart is their latest release which will street on 02/12/13 and includes classics from Lorenz Hart & Richard Rogers along with Cole Porter and a personal favorite "Since I Fell For You."

Original arrangements are only "tweaked" to fit Masse's vocals with Hyman serving as a dynamic accompanist following Masse's lead note for note. "Since I Fell For You" does have the tempo brought down just slightly and an intoxicating blues inflection stays with you long after the tune has ended. The dangerous part of a release such as this is the high probability of pretentious crash and burn on take off while trying to do more than the tune requires. Masse and Hyman understand the beauty of a simple melody and limit their artistic license to only that which breathes fresh air into some tired or forgotten classics. "Lullaby Of Birdland" is a bit more on the upticks with Hyman swinging but never overshadowing the vocals of Masse. As stellar a duet as you may hear. "Love For Sale" is also kicked up just a notch and reinvents this iconic yet sadly rarely recorded Cole Porter gem. This is back to basics. An organic approach to timeless material that (as I love to say) makes old school new cool. After running through the tunes here one can not help but wonder where the major label deal is. There is no lacking of talent which would easily translate into no lacking of support for two such gifted artists.

Another treat included on Lock My Heart would be for the audiophile as this particular release is available as a Hybrid Super Audio CD. Cocktail hour jazz? Hardly...But instead a prime example of what one might hear in one of the finest nightspots in the Big Apple such as the Vanguard.
A well crafted release that will leave old school aficionado's longing for more and should generate some new fans along the way. Heather Masse contributes her own original "Morning Drinker" and her stock as a lyricist should be rising quickly.

4 out of 5 Stars. A superior effort.

Tracks: Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered; Lullaby Of Birdland; Since I Fell For You; Love Is Here To Stay; September Song; Lost In The Stars; Love For Sale; If I Called You; I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good; A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing; Morning Drinker; I'm Gonna Lock My Heart.

Personnel: Heather Masse: vocals; Dick Hyman: piano.