1. The Cup Bearers
2. Blues for Basie
3. You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
4. You Blew Out the Flame in My Heart
5. Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)
6. One for Amos
7. Revolutionary Etude, Etude in C minor,
Opus 10, No. 12
8. Moon River
9. What a Little Moonlight Can Do
10. Time Was
11. They Say It's Wonderful
12. Why Did You Tell Me: "I Love You"?/I Can't
Believe That You're in Love with Me
13. Moon Shadow
14. The Man I Love
15. Lost Love Blues
16. People Will Say We're in Love.
Parrott – Double bass, vocals
Sportiello – Piano, vocals (track 16)
of the most delightful events at the Swinging
Jazz Party in Blackpool in September was the
pairing of the Australian bassist-singer Nicki
Parrott with the Italian pianist Rossano Sportiello.
They credibly asserted that they were "just
good friends" (especially as Rossano was due
to get married to someone else a month later!)
but their togetherness was evident in the
give-and-take of their duets. Both are eminently
talented musicians, and their work together
proved that one plus one can equal more than
opening track demonstrates how they can swing
uninhibitedly, with Nicki's dependable double
bass underpinning Rossano's quicksilver piano.
Trombonist Tom McIntosh's The Cup Bearers
has already become a jazz standard and the
duo give it a joyful outing. Blues for
Basie is Rossano's tribute to Count Basie.
He reproduces the Count's economy as well
as his stride style, and Nicki provides solid
bass backing as well as soloing effectively.
Be So Nice to Come Home To introduces
us to Nicki Parrott's other talent: her vocals.
She sings with clarity, purity and plenty
of expression. There is an Ellingtonian feel
to You Blew Out the Flame in My Heart,
a composition by that arch-Ellingtonian, Johnny
Hodges. Nicki's bass solo conjures up the
memory of Ellington's bassist, Jimmy Blanton,
evoking his full, firm tone. Nicki brings
a touch of little-girl innocence to the verse
of Let's Do It but she gets cheekier
in the song itself, changing the lyrics to
"Even piano players from Milan do it". The
piano player here displays an elegance to
match Teddy Wilson.
Jones's One for Amos has a beboppish
feel, and then Rossano works his magic on
Chopin's famous Revolutionary Etude,
switching between Sparky's Magic Piano-type
seriousness and Fats Waller-style stride.
Nicki's vocal talents are again on display
in a gentle version of Moon River and
What a Little Moonlight Can Do, exhibiting
her versatility in romance as well as jauntiness.
Nicki opens Time Was on arco
bass and then walks confidently behind Rossano's
delicate solo. The bustling Moon Shadow
was written by Rossano's mentor, Barry Harris.
As a finale, Rossano joins in the vocals for
the affectionate title-track.
is the duo's first album together but it sounds
as if they have been playing together for
years, so close is their empathy. All in all,
this is an album of superb musicianship as
well as winning charm.