Monday, October 08, 2018

Judith Lorick The Second Time Around

Judith Lorick
The Second Time Around
JLJ International

Besides being the title of one the standards, the title of this album (Lorick's second) also refers to her own story of a love lost in youth which gets rekindled 44 years later. She is joined on her exploration of love lost and found by pianist Eric Reed, who collaborated with her on her prior recording, Kiyoshi Kitigawa on bass, McClenty Hunter on drums, Jeremy Pelt on trumpet and Chris Lewis on tenor saxophone.

The cd package contains her reflections on the meaning of each song. For example, on the opening "Why Did I Choose You," she writes "We meet in 1967 and I see the heart you hide so well. For Tadd Dameron's classic "If You Could See Me Now," she notes "1970, You leave me, and I'm heartbroken." She states about the title track, "Lovelier, twice as wonderful, this miracle we found."

Her notes may relate to the selection of material, but what stands out it is her performance of these songs. This is an album of mostly ballads. Despite the predominance of languid tempos, the combination of Ms. Lorick's vocals, Eric Reed's arrangements, and the instrumental accompaniment leads to a marvelous recording. One is struck by the warmth and emotion that Ms. Lorick expresses throughout. she sings softly with clear enunciation, her vocal dynamics and phrasing that brings out the meaning of these songs, whether she expresses a longing for a love that seems to have been lost as in the Dameron classic (bassist Kitigawa stands out in his solo here as Hunter deftly plays with brushes), or celebrates in a restrained manner finding her lost love on the title track (accompanied solely by Reed's sophisticated backing). Reed's accompaniment on "He Needs Me," also gracefully supports the expression of longing in her vocal.

The support Kitigawa and Hunter provide adds to the appeal of these performances as do the solo contributions of Pelt (the soft, expressive playing on "Why Did I Choose You" or his bright middle register playing on "Wild Is the Wind") and Lewis (who provides a lovely tenor sax break on "Lucky to Be Me"), both enhancing the sophisticated elegance of the performances on this superlative, moving recording.

I received my review copy from a publicist.

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