Lewis Wright is an award-winning British vibraphonist, composer and drummer based in London. As a vibraphonist, he was nominated for Rising Star in the 2016 Downbeat International Critics Poll, was awarded Ensemble of the Year in the 2016 Parliamentary Jazz Awards with Empirical, and was awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians prize in 2011.
For her 34th studio album, Anne Murray recorded a set of duets with many of her favorite female singers, from Nelly Furtado to Sarah Brightman. There are a number of country duet partners here, such as Shania Twain, Emmylou Harris, and Martina McBride, but there are even more pop-oriented women singing with Murray, encompassing the likes of Celtic Woman and Celine Dion. This makes perfect sense, as Murray's always straddled the pop-country fence effortlessly. Her singing on Duets: Friends and Legends is just as effortless. Now in her fifth decade as an active recording artist, her voice hasn't lost a beat, sounding just as pure and clear as it did on 1970s "Snowbird" (done here with a surprisingly relaxed, easy vocal from Brightman, sounding for all the world like a young Olivia Newton-John). The majority of these songs are ones which have been sizeable hits for Murray in the past, most of which work nicely recast as duets, or at least showcases for harmony singing.
By nature, Linda Ronstadt isn't a solo singer. She started her career in the Stone Poneys and during the height of her fame she was happy to harmonize on records by friends; later still, she joined Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris in the group Trio. Duets, a compilation released on the eve of her 2014 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, doesn't concentrate on this considerable legacy as a harmonizer, preferring instead to pick 14 previously released duets from throughout Ronstadt's career, adding an unreleased version of "Pretty Bird" with Laurie Lewis as mild collector bait…
The title A due alti does not carry any metaphorical meaning, but simply means "for two altos": these are little Baroque chamber songs for a pair of altos and a good-sized continuo group. This repertory is almost completely unknown, but as august a personage as Handel took it up in Caro autor di mia doglia, HWV 182, and cared enough about that piece to go back and rework it years later (it is the later version that is heard here).
The guitar of Toninho Horta is always a treat, but on this 2005 album it's made even better by some lyrically light flute work from Nicola Stilo! The set's got a dreamy quality that really gets at the gentler sound of Horta's work on guitar – and a few tunes even feature his vocals, singing in a laidback way that has echoes of the earlier bossa era, but a more gently jazzy approach overall. Stilo plays a variety of flutes on the set, and titles include a great version of Coltrane's "Naima", plus "Very Early", "Vento", "My Ideal", "In A Sentimental Mood", "Meu Canario", "Bons Amigos", and "Illusion".
The subtitle of Burning Your Playhouse Down makes plain that this compilation rounds up scraps from the Possum's vaults – unreleased cuts not from the '60s or '70s, but a more recent vintage, as this relies on recordings from the '90s and beyond…
This LP comprises one of altoist Lee Konitz's greatest sessions. In 1967 he recorded a series of very diverse duets, all of which succeed on their own terms. Konitz is matched with valve trombonist Marshall Brown on a delightful version of "Struttin' with Some Barbecue" and matches wits with the tenor of Joe Henderson on "You Don't Know What Love Is." He plays "Checkerboard" with pianist Dick Katz, "Erb" with guitarist Jim Hall, "Tickle Toe" with the tenor of Richie Kamuca (Konitz switches to tenor on that cut), and an adventurous and fairly free "Duplexity" with violinist Ray Nance. Konitz also has three different duets in five versions of "Alone Together" and, on "Alphanumeric," welcomes practically everyone back for a final blowout. The music ranges from Dixieland to bop and free, and is consistently fascinating.