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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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Everybody's Song But Our Own

33 Records 33JAZZ 172



1. You Must Believe in Spring
2. Footprints
3. Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most
4. A Timeless Place (The Peacocks)
5. You Taught My Heart To Sing
6. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
7. Never Let Me Go
8. Everybody's Song But My Own
9. Ruby My Dear
10. In a Sentimental Mood
11. Spring is Here
Louise Gibbs - Vocals
Kirk Lightsey - Piano


As I have suggested in earlier reviews, jazz duets demand special qualities from both participants. Unfortunately, these qualities are not always evident on this duo album. The repertoire mixes jazz standards with vocalese versions of tunes that started without lyrics (like Goodbye Pork Pie Hat and Ruby My Dear).

Problems manifest themselves in the very first track. Why choose a song like Michel Legrand's You Must Believe in Spring with its demanding intervals which tax Louise Gibbs's intonation? Kirk Lightsey's piano accompaniment adds to the difficulties: playing chords which seem to conflict with the vocal line. Footprints and several subsequent tracks suffer from some of the same troubles, with Lightsey's piano leading Louise into off-key notes. The two often seem at odds with one another.

Some songs pass without these glitches but those introductory errors make you wait uncomfortably for the next clash or dubious pitching. Kirk Lightsey belies his name by tending towards heavy-handedness. Admittedly the choice of songs is refreshingly unhackneyed but some of them don't suit Louise's range. The wide leaps demanded by In a Sentimental Mood set dilemmas for the singer which she doesn't always solve.

The final track - Spring is Here - actually breaks down shortly after it begins. Kirk's introduction (using the Prelude from Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin) is clever, but Louise doesn't know when to come in. The track falls apart as Kirk gets his fingers in a twist and it has to be started again. This is typical of an album where there seems to be insufficient empathy between vocalist and accompanist. The publicity boasts that "the album consists entirely of first takes" (apart from Spring is Here). Spontaneity is very commendable but perhaps the performers should have recorded more takes to ensure more togetherness.

Tony Augarde





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