A surprisingly satisfying listen.
Kathryn Shackleton 2009
Australian singer Trudy Kerr headlines on Like Minds, but this is really a duo gig with legendary pianist Michael Garrick. Sometimes called 'the English Ellington', Garrick has been a prolific composer since the 60s, so it's fitting that Like Minds explores the essence of Ellington's music.
Garrick’s gentlemanly-but-maverick playing characterises the album. He paws at the keys on Do Nothing 'Til You Hear from Me, and Prelude To A Kiss features a solo that sounds like swarming bees. Ponderous chords anticipate the melody in Mood Indigo and Trudy feeds on this to paint a poignant picture of depression.
These interpretations of Ellington delight in exploring moods and emotions. Bassless and drumless, Don't Get Around Much Anymore is on the suicidal side of wistful, with Kerr’s exposed vocals supported by solid piano chords, while I'm Beginning To See The Light is gleefully intimate, Garrick's fingers falling over themselves in an exuberant solo.
Paul Moylan's double bass edges in on the action for a few numbers and a typically lush passage on In A Sentimental Mood sees Trudys Golden Syrup voice backed by a deep, rich bass that stretches out to take in the vocal line too.
A few Garrick pieces nestle between the Ellington standards. October Woman features a Satie-like piano solo, and on the swelling Song By The Sea piano and voice soar over bowed bass, brought back to earth with clunky chords.
Although most of Like Minds features introspective ballads, there's an individual craftsmanship in each phrase that makes this a surprisingly satisfying listen.