Title - 'An American In Paris'
Artist - The Napa Valley Duo
An American In Paris (out now via IAC Records) is the sophomore album of The Napa Valley Duo, a cello/piano duo that resides and performs throughout the famous Napa Valley wine growing region in the state of California of the United States of America.
With over a century of combined individual effort to unrelentingly perfect their artistry, The Napa Valley Duo offers a fresh and unique pairing of musicianship that has only recently made their public debut.
Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson, violoncello and Terry Winn, piano had worked together previously for eight years as public school instructors teaching language arts and social studies to sixth grade middle school students.
It was by chance that they convened as performing musicians when they both retired from public school instruction and discovered their mutual love for the music of Paris, 1880-1915.
1. 'Hotel' (1:50)
2. 'An American in Paris' (15:20)
3. 'It Never Entered My Mind' (4:57)
4. 'JMJ Suite: Prelude Perfume' (1:49)
5. 'A Soft Message to You' (3:48)
6. 'Star Trek Anthem / I Love Lucy' (1:24)
7. 'Meritage Estate' (2:12)
8. 'Preparing for the Day' (1:26)
9. 'Vesper for Janelle' (2:15)
10. 'Chimera' (2:27)
11. 'See Me Feel Me / I Will Fight and Never Slack' (4:27)
12. 'Moderatamente' (3:56)
13. 'Romanza' (2:57)
14. 'The Lady Caliph' (2:55)
The aching, yearning strings of 'Hotel' open the album up beautifully, and that's followed by an incredible 15 minute long title track that has to be heard to be believed.
My thought for this album would be to settle into your comfy chair, turn off all electronics that could disturb you, shut your eyes and allow yourself to be transported back to an era long since gone.
As the album plays out, for me, the stand out tracks are such distinctively era-evoking ones as Miles Davis' stellar 'It Never Entered My Mind,' a nod to their debut album on 'A Soft Message To You,' the short, but sweetly vibrant 'Preparing For The Day,' and both 'Moderatamente' and 'Romanza.'
Lest we forget though a couple of interesting takes here, such as 'Star Trek Anthem / I Love Lucy' and an absolutely haunting rendition of The Who's infamous 'See Me Feel Me / I Will Fight and Never Slack,' that has to be heard to be rightly embraced.
Amazon CD Purchase Link