MARY PEARSON: You and I

Catalog# 71325

UPC# 602267132526

Mary Pearson-vocals, Fred Hersch-piano, Lynne Arriale-piano, John Hart-guitar, Harvie Swartz (Harvie S)-bass, Steve Davis-drums, David Lahm-piano

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            “…fresh interpretations and insights… zesty…entertaining as well as romantic, as much fun as it was creative.” – George Kanzler, Newark Star Ledger

                “Long overdue–stunning and original– Aaron Fensterheim- WXEL- FM 90.7

On this Arkadia Jazz recording of intimate duets, entitled Mary Pearson: You and I, Jazz singer Mary Pearson‘s voice weaves a seamless tapestry of romance. Mary and her all-star partners Fred Hersch, Lynne Arriale, Harvie Swartz, David Lahm, Steve Davis and guitarist John Hart create a virtual suite of love songs, guaranteed to keep you under her passionate spell.

“Ms. Pearson gets to me not only with her humorous energy and stunningly musical vocal talent, but also with her “on the edge” eccentricity” —Mark Murphy, legendary Jazz vocalist

The musical concept of the album – pairing Pearson’s indelible voice with a single instrument per song to create a collection of intimate duets – seems so clever that it’s hard to believe it is not employed more widely in the Jazz world. The simplicity of this format helps breathe new life into some of the often performed Jazz Standards, and three originals, and creates an impressive pulpit to introduce her original compositions to the world.

“These austere settings showcase the warmth and richness of Pearson’s instrument, a lush, supple voice … You and I is an impressive, musically exacting first effort.”           — Joel E. Siegel, JazzTimes Magazine

Mary Pearson knows that it takes more than a beautiful voice to once again bring alive some of the most cherished and recorded timepieces of our American Songbook. According to the accomplished veteran, “If you can’t add something new, you may as well just put on the original and sing along.”  With creative ingenuity and a vision to fashion her songs in a style never before tailored, on this Arkadia Records album, Mary Pearson: You and I, Pearson has been able to reclaim a glory that once existed in the classic realm of romantic Jazz, performing in the tradition of Shirley Horn, Morgana King, and Chris Conner.

Song Selections                                                                                                                   Accompanied by:

 1. Lazy Afternoon Steve Davis – drums
 2. The More I See You  Lynn Arriale – piano
 3. Take Five  Fred Hersch – piano
 4. What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?  John Hart – guitar
 5. I Am Yours / You Are Mine  Lynn Arriale – piano
 6. Thou Swell  Steve Davis – drums
 7. You and I  Lynn Arriale – piano
 8. In Your Arms  David Lahm – piano
 9. How Long Has This Been Going On?  Harvie Swartz – bass
10. My Funny Valentine  Lynn Arriale – piano
11. I Can’t Believe  John Hart – guitar
12. Over the Rainbow  Fred Hersch – piano

ABOUT MARY PEARSON

Mary Pearson made a strong impression with her recording debut, You and I, which teamed her with pianists Lynne Arriale and Fred Hersch. Pearson began her career singing almost everything but jazz in a wedding band and at piano bars, including folk music and cabaret. In 1975 she realized that her way of improvising was jazz, and she dug deeper into the jazz repertoire.

Her first major jazz engagement was at the Surfmaid in New York, sitting in with pianist Claude Garvey and occasionally Fred Hersch. In the early ’80s she formed her own group. In 1984 she began to learn to play piano, and by 1986 was confident enough to work as a singer/pianist. Since the mid-’80s, Mary Pearson has worked regularly in the New York area. Some of her most important musical associations have been with Dr. Billy Taylor, Harvie Swartz, Lynne Arriale, the Diva band, Claire Daly, John Hart, and George Gee’s Make-Believe Ballroom Orchestra. She also whistles on commercials and writes children’s musicals. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi