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Libby York: Here With You

Four years have passed since Libby York delivered the sweet, sublime Sunday in New York. Now she’s back with another prime assortment of standards and a fresh assortment of accompanists. On Sunday, she united with a trio led by pianist Renee Rosnes. This time around, Rosnes is still on the scene, but as production assistant, with York surrounded by a piano-less quartet featuring Howard Alden, who also shaped the album’s soft, elegant arrangements, on guitar (and paired with fellow guitarist Russell Malone on three tracks), plus bassist Jon Burr, drummer/percussionist Vanderlei Pereira and cornet virtuoso Warren Vaché.

With a voice like amber-dense, rich and imbued with a enchanting hint of smokiness-York proves that simple beauty is often the most stunning, serving up gorgeously unadorned readings of “For All We Know,” “A Beautiful Friendship,” “But Beautiful,” “The Things We Did Last Summer,” “Flamingo” and a half-dozen others (including one delightful rarity, the tender, twilit “The Day the World Stopped Turning”). It’s hardly surprising that Vaché’s brass work is exquisite throughout, but who knew Vaché could sing? And so he does, exercising a gritty baritone reminiscent of Phil Harris as he swaps lines with York on a peppy “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home.”

Originally Published