Wendy Pedersen & Jim Gasior – We Two (2016)

Wendy Pedersen & Jim Gasior - We Two (2016)
Artist: Wendy Pedersen & Jim Gasior
Album: We Two
Genre: Vocal Jazz
Origin: USA
Released: 2016
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

Tracklist:
01. The Late Late Show 04:35
02. It Ain’t Necessarily So 05:19
03. If I Should Lose You, If Ever I Would Leave You 05:13
04. Everything But You 05:33
05. Jitterbug Waltz 04:50
06. Besame Mucho 04:55
07. The Best Thing For You Just You, Just Me 02:43
08. Meet Me At No Special Place 04:19
09. ‘Round Midnight 07:26
10. My Favorite Things 05:46
11. Oh, What A Beautiful Morning 06:01
12. Exactly Like You 03:09

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Long-time friends and two of South Florida’s most enduring and favorite performers for a decade and more, vocalist Wendy Pedersen and pianist Jim Gasior present a session of light vocal jazz on We Two, their first solo album together offering new interpretations of the music from Rodgers & Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, the Gershwin brothers and many others. Two Educators and graduates from the University of Miami Frost School of Music, the duo have been musical collaborators on several albums and in-demand performers throughout the South Florida area but have never recorded together in a duet format until now.

A Dean at Miami Dade College’s New World School of the Arts and Director of the NWSA High School Jazz Ensemble, Gasior lends his talents as a gifted musician melding perfectly with Pedersen’s rich vocal style capable of caressing the lyrics with a bit of soul, sensitivity and emotion when called for. The 1957 Murry Berlin/Roy Alfred composition “The Late Late Show” begins the date in swinging fashion with playful reaching from the singer and a demonstration of the pianist’s chops on the instrument on a brief solo spot. On the Gershwin brother’s “It Ain’t Necessarily So” standard, the pianist provides an expanded solo moment as the songstress delivers a humbling performance.

Loves songs are always a favorite of jazz vocal albums and this one is no different as evident on the beautiful balladic medley of “If I Should Lose You/ If Ever I Would Leave You” where the two combine for a warm treatment of two lovely tunes. In much the same light, the two artist provide yet another soft and gentle read of the time-honored “Besame Mucho,” the standard from Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velazquez. Returning to a more lively state, Pedersen and Gasior deliver an upbeat and peppery rendition in another medley of “The Best Thing for You/Just You, Just Me.”

The duo turn bluesy on a spicy take of “Meet Me At No Special Place,” while tackling their most ambitious piece of the set, the Thelonious Monk classic “Round Midnight” providing a somewhat dark and somber mood in a unique slow soft-textured version of the standard. The set begins to draw to a close on the two Hammerstein pieces, the oft-recorded “My Favorite Things” and “Oh, What A Beautiful Morning,” and finishing on “Exactly Like You” ending the music on a high-reaching note from the singer.

Vocalist extraordinaire Wendy Pedersen and piano master Jim Gasior—two fixtures of the South Florida jazz scene—have been delivering professional performances for quite some time now, and with the remarkable We Two, now document their musical magic together for jazz audiences everywhere to experience. An uncommon singer and an uncompromising piano man, have forged a unique musical partnership that continues to evolve and flourish, with this musical statement, certain not to be the last.
By EDWARD BLANCO

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