New CD on Ride Symbol Records...
KENDRA SHANK AND GEOFFREY KEEZER
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Kendra Shank and Geoffrey Keezer's musical association began in 2008 at the Athenaeum jazz series in San Diego, CA when a cancelled flight prevented Shank's New York pianist from making the gig. With just 30 minutes to rehearse, Keezer stepped in with a seamless performance and instant chemistry with Shank that inspired a standing ovation. Kendra called on Geoffrey's trio for subsequent West Coast tours and their musical connection deepened. In January 2015, while Geoffrey was in Manhattan on an engagement with Chris Botti, he and Kendra performed an afternoon concert at a friend's home. The intimate duo setting provided the pianist and vocalist unlimited freedom to create spontaneously in the moment, taking the enthusiastic audience on a magical journey that was captured on this Ride Symbol recording. The title song "Half Moon," inspired by a lamp hanging over the piano, was completely improvised and reveals Shank at her most vulnerable. Keezer's 88-key orchestra of harmonic and rhythmic virtuosity and Shank's exotic wordless vocalizations are highlighted in Cedar Walton's "Life's Mosaic," while the duo's lyrical side shines on the debut recording of Jeremy Siskind's "Kneel" (winner of ASCAP's Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award). The chart for "When Love Was You and Me" (Abbey Lincoln/Thad Jones) was given to Kendra in 1994 by her mentor Abbey Lincoln when Kendra visited her Upper West Side apartment -- coincidentally in the same building where this concert took place. Throughout this diverse and inspired set, Shank & Keezer embody the joy and playful inventiveness of making music as interactive partners, transcending the singer-accompanist mold.