Miriam Ast and Victor Gutierrez will be at Omnibus Theatre this Sunday with their new album, Secret Songs. The multi-award winning jazz singer and acclaimed Spanish pianist will play a collection of original compositions and new arrangements of classic jazz standards in the mellow atmosphere of The Common Room.
Here you can get to know some of the musicians that have inspired them.
So, in no particular order→
Norma Winstone & John Taylor
Album: Like Song, Like Weather
Track: Everybody’s Song But Not My Own
This album was first recommended to me by German pianist Sebastian Sternal during my time at music conservatory in Mainz. I absolutely love the album for its fantastic interplay between Norma and John and the beautiful arrangements they created together. Each track is unique on the album and an absolute must for lovers of the art of duo playing. Everybody’s Song but not my own is particularly special to me as it was the first British jazz tune I ever heard by the great Kenny Wheeler and it awakened my interest in British jazz music. It was also one of the reasons for me to decide to apply for a Masters at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Album: Light As A Feather
Track: Five Hundred Miles High
This is an album that I had been introduced to by my vocal teacher in Mainz. It was the third year of my bachelor studies when I started to become more interested in modern jazz styles. This beautiful composition by Chick Corea caught my attention because of its intricate melody and its spherical sound. The harmonies are quite functional but have some unexpected turns which made it very interesting for me to learn to improvise with my voice on it. Today it is still one of my favourite modern jazz standards to perform on a jam session or gig.
Album: Daylight at Midnight
This album by American pianist Taylor Eigsti is one of my favourite modern jazz albums with vocals. It’s a beautiful album featuring the great Becca Stevens on vocals. The music invites you to dream and features an amazing range of dynamics and musical elements that keep your attention throughout. For me the music has exactly the right balance between head and heart ☺
Album: Gnu High
The career of this prolific and revered American pianist has not been abundant in collaborations out of his comfort trio/soloist area, but this album makes one of my favorite of all time. It achieves the perfect dialogue between players while allowing personal creativity and freedom to flow. Their interplay achieves moments of pure bliss, specially in this track. Definitely it is one of my top inspirations. I wanted to translate this to my own play and projects, and in particular to the interaction between Miriam and myself.
Fred Hersch & Norma Winstone
Album: Songs & Lullabies
Track: A Wish
Where it comes to piano and voice, there is no other pianist with the sensitivity and vision of Fred Hersh. And of course, he had to make this selection together with Norma Winstone. He invited her to write the lyrics for this collection of his own songs for the album. The result is just a beautiful, unpretentious and full-of-meaning album. They deliver the message in a way that their mastery don’t ever get in the way of the song, but is rather put to service and honor the music and the emotion behind it. An absolute delight to hear, with pearls of musical wisdom in every corner.