Dim All The Lights : Hetty Kate : ABC 378 2335
Stephane Grappelli was once asked why he never recorded the latest music but stayed with the standards – the great violinist replied: “For three hundred years classical music has been Shubert, Brahms, Bach, Beethoven, Mozard. Today’s classical composers are Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin. Three hundred years from how the music will still be played.”
Only a few days after shaking my head in despair as a friend praised rock “star” Rod Steward’s unfortunate dalliances with the Great American Songbook, I received this album, sub-titled “Vintage love songs of Peggy Lee, June Christy and Julie London”. An album of this quality restore’s one’s faith in the future of fine music. I can’t praise this album highly enough. This is a voice to savour.
Melbourne-based Hetty Kate is backed by four of the city’s best jazz musicians in a program which includes some of the finest examples of the best of Cole Porter, Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart and Hoagy Carmichael. This stellar quartet, pianist Sam Keevers – his exemplary playing deserves the highest praise – guitarist James Sherlock, bassist Ben Robertson and drummer Danny Farrugia, provides the perfect platform as Kate, relaxed and melodic, puts her own stamp on these venerable standards, especially the ballads.
The matching of her emotional shadings and Sherlock’s guitar adds a dreamy hope to Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered. This and one of Porter’s most lovely melodies, In The Still Of The Night, are something special in an outstanding album.