by J. Pepper
June Bisantz and Alex Nakhimovsky are equally skilled artists, who have both enjoyed vibrant careers. Bisantz discography was illuminated with the 2012 release of It’s Always You. A collection inspired by the vocal work of the legendary Chet Baker, it featured both familiar and obscure Baker songs spanning the course of his career. Her latest release is a collaboration with jazz and classical pianist and composer Nakhimovsky titled, Love’s Tango. A delightful collection of original music all pinioned in the Latin genre and offering appreciably well-hewn lyrics and melodies about love, with a focal on musicality.
A highlight track on the album is “11 Note Samba,” a fun and flirty tune that offers a celebratory sound. A play on “One Note Samba,” Bisantz has cleverly crafted lyrics that immediately bring a cheer to your soul. Guitarist Norman Johnson known widely in the smooth jazz genre, puts forth a stunning nylon strung solo, while vibraphonist Ed Fast glides effortlessly across the keys uplifting the spirit of the track. Bisantz has a soothing easy-going style about her singing, with darkly hued resonance on the bottom notes that are rounded and curved with savoir vivre. One cannot help but feel refreshed after listening to this delightful tune.
The title track “Love’s Tango,” is a delectably exotic listen. A tango, as the title suggests is brought to life with castanets and the incisive dexterity of accordionist Marcus Centola. The lush strings of Brunilda Myftaraj on violin, Lu San on viola and Kathy Schiano on cello add a refinement to the melody. Of note is the effortless sophistication of Nakhimovsky’s compositional writing. A co-creator on these tracks, his arranging and writing skills, coupled with Bisantz well-crafted lyrics is inspired. At times their writing is so polished its easy to forget how harmonically complex and imbued these tunes really are, as you find yourself swept away by the emotions of the songs.
The Valentine holiday is quickly approaching, and Love’s Tango is certainly a welcomed soundtrack to what is reported to be one of the largest holidays of the year. Bisantz and Nakhimovsky are inspired on this album, their chemistry is ripe with creativity and iridescent with posh and elegance. Whether gearing up for the holiday or looking for a respite from the stress of the week. Love’s Tango will set your mood on the right path. A welcomed reverie.