And She Closed Her Eyes is the second album from Swedish singer-songwriter Stina Nordenstam. This album gave Stina a larger audience outside of Sweden thanks to the use of the song "Little Star" in Baz Luhrmann's 1996 film, Romeo + Juliet.
Backed by his regular band, Wynton Marsalis's HE AND SHE is a concept album with the underlying theme of relationships between men and women as major artistic inspiration. While there are moody and serious tracks ("Fears" and brief spoken word interludes), there is also the genial and graceful mid-tempo "The Razor Rim," wherein Wynton's horn sings like it's the first day of spring. Both the blues-drenched "School Boy" and "A Train, A Banjo, and a Chicken Wing" reflect a powerful 1920s Louis Armstrong influence (the latter featuring a soaring, searing sax solo from Walter Blanding). The surreal and short "First Crush" is a tip-of-the-hat to the freer (yet lyrical) side of early `60s John Coltrane. Copiously contemplative with several shades of nostalgia and melancholy, HE AND SHE is both serious art and serious fun.
At under an hour this mini-masterpiece should be in every opera-lover's collection. There are scores of versions available but I tend to favour those with a Dido of really starry vocal quality given that her torments lie at the heart of the opera and all other considerations are secondary: Purcell and his librettist Nathum Tate make little of Aeneas's psychology and the other roles are all supplementary, reflecting upon Dido's plight, even to the extent of some suggesting that the Sorceress is her alter ego.