Mariah Picot, vocals; Bill Peterson, piano; Jeff Denson, bass; Ronen Itzik, drums; Unity of Panama City Choir; track 8.
This is a debut album for Mariah Picot; she wrote all the lyrics and music for eight of the thirteen tracks; Bill Peterson wrote the music for the other five. They describe the album as "Jazz influenced Art Songs with a Spiritual Perspective". The music is Jazz orientated, pianist Bill Peterson, a professor of Jazz Studies at FSU, has a light, inventive flowing style; he can cut loose when required, he flashes the keys briefly on "Pearl Diver". There are a lot of words in the songs, and they need to be listened to. The group members are sensitive to each other, an absolute necessity for this kind of involvement. The bass and drums never overstate. "Lucid Blue" has a very slight involvement from the Unity of Panama City Choir, it seems a pity to go to all the trouble and not develop it further. There is some fine interplay between Picot and Peterson on "Stay Awake", an unusually upbeat number. A proud, heroic and prayerful finish with "Until Then" ends the CD with just the right feeling. Picot and Peterson create a poetical tapestry that often loosens itself from any grounding in the tonic; one is left suspended as a child might be in a different world that does not require bringing to earth. This is an album put together with care, love and considered observation; perfect for the connoisseur.
by Ferdinand Maylin
New Sounds - February 2005
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