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June 2006

Bill Kirchner
Everything I Love
Evening Star Records

Bill Kirchner’s appealing Everything I Love features novel instrumentation, first-class material and superior playing. Sopranoist Kirchner, accordionist-vocalist Eddie Monteiro and drummer Ron Vincent generate, thanks to the MIDI attachment on Monteiro’s instrument, the sounds of a string orchestra, a jazz quartet and other instrumental combinations with a lifelike quality that disguises their origin. And they play a varied selection of originals and standards, including Cal Tjader’s delightful waltz “Liz Anne,” Manuel DeSica’s and Gene Lees’ evocative “Once in a Garden” and the affecting Kirchner-Loonis McGlohon ballad “I Almost Said Goodbye,” the latter tenderly rendered by guest Jackie Cain, who also sings Kirchner’s and Jay Leonhart’s warm “Try to Understand.”

Kirchner avoids showiness, concentrating instead on a melodicism that features interesting, less obvious notes from the harmonies, which he illustrates beautifully on his improvisation on “Aquamarine,” based on the changes of “Body and Soul.” “For Steve Lacy,” an overdubbed four-soprano outing with each improvised part in a different range and each often with its own character, is a remarkable tour de force.

Monteiro impresses not only with his accordion versatility but with his well-crafted improvisations as well. Drummer Vincent can be subtle or scorching as the situation demands.

Originally published in June 2006
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