|Photo: Laura Desberg
The results can be heard on "Lean In" (Edition Records), an intimate yet rhythmic journey that captures both the fears of the shutdown and the liberating power of music. From the opening seconds of Loueke's "Akwê" (first recorded by the guitarist in 2005 with the cooperative trio Gilfema), it's a bouncy piece with rapid-fire vocal breaks, the guitarist's crisp acoustic guitar work and mouth clicks, and a distinct connection to the music of West Africa. That's followed by Ms. Parlato's lovely rearrangement of "I Miss You", a Top 10 tune by Klymaxx from 1984. Later in the program, Ms. Parlato returns to one of the first Brazilian songs she ever learned, "Astronauta"––composed by Carlos Pingarilho and Marcos Vasconcellos, the gentle samba was first recorded by Os Cariocas in 1966. The duo give the piece a lovely, Joāo Gilberto feel with just voice, acoustic guitar, and overdubbed electric guitar.
|Photo: Lauren Desberg
"Lean In" is a gem of an album, music to listen as you walk on the beach or through the woods, when you are sitting on your porch or lying in bed at night with windows open. Besides the excellent musicianship on and the superb sounds of this recording, I am impressed how Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke combine their voices when they sing in unison and when they weave counterpoint beneath the lead. They'll be touring the US and Canada this Summer and have already scheduled a tour for the Fall. Go see and hear them! Buy this record!
For more information about the artists, go to https://gretchenparlato.com/ and www.lionellouekemusic.com/. To listen to more and to purchase "Lean In", go to
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