This perfect coupling, this musical marriage with its velvety vocals and its pianistic perfection, is a rare delicacy. It is an album filled with melodious and harmonious manoeuvre, implemented with skill and with grace.
Marilena Paradisi conveys raw emotion through her impressive vocal range; she scats, she soars, her voice as much an instrument as Kirk Lightsey’s all-encompassing piano. The overall sound is so much fuller than you might expect from a duo, with Kirk’s progressive harmonic range and quality of touch often presenting an orchestral-sounding accompaniment. But it is the intimacy of the interplay that most impresses. You feel that they are playing – for you!
Italian-born Marilena has been active on the international jazz scene since 1994, with an abundance of recording, concert and master class credits – at the very highest level. American-born Kirk is the consummate maestro. His credit list is of the finest pedigree and includes five albums with Chet Baker – oh, and he also happened to tour with Dexter Gordon from 1979-1983.
The album’s title track is a beautiful rendition of Wayne Shorter’s winding and multifaceted Some Place Called Where. A complex tune delivered with clarity and composure.
All the selections in this stress-free zone are lovingly crafted. Tunes such as Portrait (Charles Mingus) and Little Waltz (Ron Carter) and Dori Caymmi’s Like A Lover exemplify music that has been carefully chosen for depth and for sincerity.
The final track Fresh Air is a self-descriptive Lightsey/Paradisi original. Kirk also treats us to a charming and lyrical flute solo. It’s the perfect conclusion to a perfect album.