Melbourne’s Connie Lansberg’s latest album might be one of the most excellent traditional Jazz albums to drop for a decent while. A sensual, 10-song trip that is full of soul, swinging rhythm, and scrumptious playing on all fronts. All topped with Connie’s delicate singing and heartwarming stories.
This offering, Deep Dark Down and Blue, sees Connie, an established singer/songwriter, team up with jazz master Mark Fitzgibbon on the piano to create 7 striking originals and 3 renditions of classic standards, ’Round Midnight, Something Cool, and Whistling Away The Night. The duo teams up with distinct rhythm sections for their original tunes and for the standards, which lends a somewhat different character to the drumming and to the timbre of the upright on those renditions.
The songs are almost entirely gentle, breezy, traditional ballroom jazz in style, with serene playing from Mark Fitzgibbon and beautiful restraint exercised by the two different rhythm sections. The solos on the album are outstanding. Mostly on the piano, Mr. Fitzgibbon gets more than his fair share of time in the spotlight, and he adorns this time with tasty phrases and a profound awareness of the dynamics of his playing. Whistling Away The Night features the one and only bass solo, courtesy of Ben Hanlon, a trailblazer of gentleness and fine taste.
Round Midnight is a cool noir piece composed by Thelonius Monk. A dark, mystical, and stirring piece about the swings of love. It’s Beautifully sung and paced, with the piano shining particularly bright. Other highlights include a beautiful Drum performance on Angel Tears, delivered by Danny Fischer, and Perfect Tears, which is a groovy almost poppy tune with melodic soloing.
A pleasant offering from a group of experienced and passionate musicians that will be easy to recommend to anyone with a soft spot for traditional jazz or soft music in general.