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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove

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Like Minds

Jazzizit JITCD 0949




1. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
2. Prelude to a Kiss
3. I'm Beginning To See the Light
4. October Woman
5. Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me
6. In a Sentimental Mood
7. Heaven
8. Respondere Amore
9. Mood Indigo
10. Song by the Sea
11. Sophisticated Lady
12. Down on Your Knees
13. Lush Life

Trudy Kerr - Vocals

Michael Garrick - Piano

Paul Moylan - Bass

My dictionary defines accompanist as "someone who provides a musical accompaniment". This is the job that Michael Garrick takes on for this album, but his accompaniments are not always music to the ears. The very first track - Don't Get Around Much Anymore - is an Ellington classic but Garrick introduces it with some very weird chords, which make it hard for Trudy Kerr to find the right pitch. As Trudy is an experienced singer, she manages to hold on to the melody but Garrick's piano playing frequently seems out of tune with the songs. Ellington's voicings were often unexpected but they usually had a rightness about them.

Again and again, one senses that Trudy is desperately holding on to the melody while Michael adds unhelpful interjections. His piano solo in the middle of Mood Indigo is very odd. And something goes wrong after about 1.56 minutes of Sophisticated Lady - which is either a bad tape-edit, or Kerr and Garrick colliding dangerously.

This CD is supposed to be a sort of tribute to Duke Ellington but Michael Garrick's treatment of the great man's songs seems perverse - as if he is concentrating on his own explorations rather than trying to serve the spirit of the music. When Paul Moylan comes in on double bass for some tracks, he manages to steer a course closer to the Ducal compositions. When he alone accompanies Trudy at the start of In a Sentimental Mood, he fits in better than when Michael enters with his disconcerting backing.

Michael Garrick actually proves a more sympathetic accompanist on the four original songs he contributes to the album - although the contrast with the melodious compositions by Ellington suggests that Garrick has the lesser ear for melody. His songs may be, as the sleeve-note says, "supremely literate" but they are hardly hummable.

While on the subject of the sleeve-note, I must take issue with their author, Chris Parker, who calls Mitchell Parish's lyrics for Sophisticated Lady "starchily censorious". Parish's words may start off sounding dismissive but they end with sympathy for a woman who has lost the love of her life.

The sleeve-notes also quote Trudy Kerr as saying "I wanted the experience of recording these classic songs with a great accompanist who had a real affinity for the music". Trudy Kerr's previous albums have shown that she is a good vocalist but the pairing with Michael Garrick suggests that, on this occasion, she chose the wrong accompanist.

Tony Augarde

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