‘The Music’s On Me’ is the latest album from British jazz pianist and vocalist WENDY KIRKLAND. Wendy describes the album as “a selection of original and “lyricised” pieces”; that’s to say her own songs (3) interspersed with 8 jazz classics from people like Michael Petrucciani, Wes Montgomery, Russell Malone and Don Grolnick to some of which she’s added lyrics. It’s a clever concept and delivered with humour, insight and an obvious knowledge and love of the genre. For instance on the cover of Kenny Rankin’s ‘Haven’t We Met’ (most famously recorded by Mel Torme), Ms Kirkland uses the lovely piano figure from ‘Here’s That Rainy Day’.
Elsewhere there are two lovely Latin items… the original ‘O Gato Molhado’ (a homage to a “wet cat”) and a take on Duke Pearson’s ‘Sandalia Dela’. A cover of Peter Nero’s ‘Sunday In New York’ (most famously recorded by Bobby Darin) is another winner.
Musically the vibe is that of Blossom Dearie with just a hint of Diana Krall and a touch of Clare Teal. Wendy’s piano sparkles throughout ably assisted by husband, Pat Sprake’s guitar. Paul Jefferies is the bassist; Steve Wyndham plays drums while vibraphonist Roger Beaujolais guests on 2 tracks while Tommaso Starace’s sax features on one.
WENDY KIRKLAND. ‘The Music’s On Me’ out now on Discovery Records