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Reviews: Monika Herzig Acoustic Project ~ What Have You Gone and Done?|
Posted on Monday, July 09, 2007 @ 01:59:25 UTC
Artist: Monika Herzig Acoustic Project
CD: What Have You Gone and Done?
Home: Bloomington, Indiana
Style: Instrumental Jazz
Quote: "Herzig is a first class pianist with a band that presents seemingly effortless arrangements well, whether it’s Beatles, Porter, Simon, Dylan or one of her five originals."
By Jamie Anderson
It’s hard to find jazz on the radio and if you do, it’s watered down easy listening fit only for elevators. Fortunately, modern technology has given us CD and MP3 players that go anywhere; we can relax with our favorite tunes and if you’re a jazz fan – one who loves good jazz – then you’ll be sure to put this disc where you can listen to it over and over again. Herzig is a first class pianist with a band that presents seemingly effortless arrangements well, whether it’s Beatles, Porter, Simon, Dylan or one of her five originals.
Kicking off the disc is a buoyant shuffle, “One Size Fits All.” In the liner notes for the next one, Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue,” Herzig talks about the difficulty of turning folk music into instrumental jazz. Because the focus is on the lyrics, melodies are too simple to translate well. Starting with dark piano chords and a basic rhythm, the piece builds, keeping the simplicity of the tune but adding a jazz mentality that expands Dylan’s original vision. “Hey Jude” is next, the piano and electric guitar (played so tastefully by Peter Kienle) trade riffs, sometimes keeping close to the melody and often, in true jazz style, wandering away from it, weaving skillfully in and out of the beat. There’s almost a gospel feel in “The Hill Country,” with its rolling melody and lazy violin. A Latin feel permeates the Cole Porter tune “Night and Day.” A beautiful melodic treatment of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” follows. The Beatles are represented again with “Imagine,” the guitar and violin trading melody lines. A complex Gillespie piece, Herzig going at it solo, ends the disc, proving that she’s no slouch when it comes to pounding the ivories, just in case you missed it before. That might be hard to do but I’ll cut you some slack – when the rest of the band is this good, you might overlook the great bandleader at the forefront.
For anyone who thinks that truly emotional music has to have lyrics, listen to
”Where Is the Light at the End of the Tunnel,” a gorgeous piece that features a reoccurring melodic theme, the drums and bass providing a solid backing. Of this cut, she says, "The music business can make you feel like this at times when huge conglomerates and big marketing budgets don’t seem to leave space for creative jazz-loving individuals like myself. Well, then it’s time to play the piano, write a song, and just enjoy doing what you love to do."
Clearly, Monika Herzig loves what she does. You will too.
Artist Website: http://www.monikaherzig.com
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