Heart and Soul...a tune that spanned a generation of kids sitting at their living room pianos and a fitting choice to include on this recording. Many of these songs were the soundtrack to my own childhood - the swinging rendition of “It’s a Lovely Day” on my parents’ Perry Como album; the entire score to the Fantasticks sung to me enthusiastically by my camp counselor (and aspiring actress) Ronnie; Yul Brynner with his bald head and those ridiculous Aladdin bloomers strutting around to Richard Rodgers’ sumptuous melodies; and the sweet lyricism only a Southern gentleman could conjure of a languishing moon reflected in a river banked by huckleberries. Who knew - that by traveling this musical landscape - a Southern born girl would someday find a kindred spirit in a New York bred blind piano player? Bliss, twelve years my senior, grew up with these same soundtracks at a different phase of his life, but these are every bit as much his songs as they are mine. His darkly romantic ruminations and improvisations have provided me with settings that are both supportive and inspiring. My hope is to give a new set of listeners a glimpse into the musical relationship that has evolved in the years Bliss and I have worked together and to share with you just a touch of our heart and our soul.
Whenever music reviewers discuss piano/vocal duos, invariably they use words such as "intimate" and "personal". But the truth is a duo can be just as expansive as an orchestra. When a group is reduced to only two people there is more room for the music to breathe and dream; to go where it wants to go. It can move effortlessly between the artificial boundaries of composition and improvisation. But duos are also unique because they let you get acquainted with a song in a very fundamental way. Good songs, when they are allowed to just be - free from the artifice of arrangers and producers - flourish on their own terms. We live in a time cluttered with possibility and technology but not a lot of heart. Often what is lacking is the integrity of the core inspiration. Although the songs on this recording are very personal to Sherri and Bliss, the simple freedom of the duo allows these iconic gems to resonate with emotion and expand into the heart of the listener. Enjoy this wonderful CD.