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Jazz singer Cathrine Legardh and the Scottish pianist Brian Kellock are back together in a loving duet on the album 'Love Still Wears A Smile'. The CD is released on 4th April 2013 on Storyville Records, and this is the first time since the debut album 'Gorgeous Creature' (Storyville 2008) that Legardh and Kellock go into the studio together. The album marks ten years of friendship and musical collaboration and interprets exclusively jazz standards, including a handful of lesser known - or more neglected - particular of Henry Mancini and Kurt Weill.
Cathrine Legardh, Brian Kellock
Recording date January 2013 in Iceland. Produced by Sigurdur Flosason
Review by Kjeld Frandsen, Berlingske Tidende
Published July 5th in Berlingske Tidende. Original article here: http://www.b.dk/musik/tosomhedens-mangfoldighed
Even though it is quite simple, you need some sort of extra energy to play duo. At least in the case where a pianist has make up for a whole rhythm section. After all, it is all about maintaining the listener’s attention.
But there are people who go at this without regrets. Among these are singer Cathrine Legardh, who has shown her calibre in different formats and languages. The Danish singer has allied herself with her frequent collaborator, the Scottish pianist Brian Kellock, and together they dive into the huge songbook of jazz. They avoid the most trite works and begin with Charlie Hadens beautiful ballad “First Song” - a charming ear-catcher.
The pianist is what you can call a pianolion, and can seem a bit too pushy on the more aggressive stuff, although Cathrine Legardh doesn’t get intimidated. But there is – as indicated - more balance in the universe of romance and melancholia, and here it is worth noting “Two For The Road”, “Lost In The Stars” and for the perfect ending: “The Party’s Over”.
A jazz singer and a jazz pianist revitalizes some of the established ballads.
Catherine Legard is a jazz singer who has "grown" over time. With her vocals lacked the intensity and authenticity ten years ago, seems today to have found. Love Still Wears A Smile - Legards fourth album at the renowned Danish jazz label Storyville - is her best so far: a focused, complete and single album consisting of established ballads that beautifully redeemed in "interaction" with the talented British pianist Brian Kellock.
Love Still Wears A Smile, which is actually Legards and Kellocks joint album contains only songs with piano accompaniment, so it appears naked. But just that - combined with the resulting intensity and authenticity - makes the album works well. Legard delivers her songs with a warm glow and Kellock his piano playing sometimes with clout, sometimes with a fascinating detained stop.
This manages duo to revitalize numbers as Haden and Lincoln's First Song, Moross and Latouches Lazy Afternoon and Styne, Comden and Green's The Party's Over.
London Jazz News
Cathrine Legardh’s vocal/piano duo album opens with the melancholy First Song by Haden/Lincoln; its soaring introduction has an almost ecclesiastical nature which pitches Cathrine’s androgynous soprano against Scottish pianist Brian Kellock’s spacious keys, setting a very classical tone.
Things are jazzed more with Hammerstein and Kern’s Nobody Else but Me and Close Your Eyes by Bernice Petkere, where she pulls around the phrases and swings with and sometimes against Brian’s fatter piano lines. Born in Denmark to Danish/Norwegian/Swedish parents, Cathrine’s accent is quite strong when singing in English; she clips the close of her words with a short purr and never truly opens out - her lips I imagine to be pursed. This style can be advantageous, particularly lending itself to the bebop scat lines she weaves through This is New by Weill/Gershwin.
I particularly enjoyed Two for the Road by Mancini/Bricusse; Cathrine has a continental air that I feel marries perfectly with this delicate harmonic progression. Together Brian and Cathrine explore many possibilities within their duo, both rhythmically and structurally; the more outlandish and contemporary numbers being Peace by Horace Silver encompassing lingering space, dynamic tensions, spoken word and the entirety of the keyboard. Also the percussive, aggressively syncopated No Moon at All by Mann/Evans.
Although I admire risqué arrangements, I personally derived most pleasure from the simpler pieces within this album. The calm resumes in the final number, The Party’s Over by Styne/Comden and Green, and I consider retiring to bed, when a secret track, starting with a poem halts me – a final solo of delicate cocktail piano by Scot, Brian, is the perfect night cap.
Jeanie Barton, Lonond Jazz News
Jan Olsson, digjazz.se
Martin Lutz, Jazzstjerner
The strongly admired Scottish pianist accompanies a rhythmically astute, expressive Danish jazz singer in an intersring duo set on carefully selected standards.
Here’s a gentle and penetrating collection of duets between vocalist Catherine Leghard and sublime pianist Brian Kellock. The songs are familiar to most of us, but the delivery is quite penetrating and personal. A wordless coo on “First Song” sets the mysterious mood here, while “Lazy Afternoon” settles like an evening haze. The pair get a bit eery on a haunting “No Moon At All” and a sensuous reading of Horace Silver’s “Peace” spotlights Legardh’s mix of fragility and elasticity. Impressionistic hues abound here.