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Barbara Morrison: I Love You, Yes I Do

In terms of artistic rapport, Barbara Morrison and Houston Person are about as close to Billie and Prez as you’ll likely get today. They first united on disc in 2005, capturing a live date at the Dakota in Minneapolis. Eight years later, now label-mates at HighNote/Savant, they reunited for the resplendent A Sunday Kind of Love. This third outing, produced by Person and mixing standards familiar and unexpected-when was the last time anyone sang “Canadian Sunset”?-firmly cements their remarkable empathy.

At 61, her two-and-a-half-octave range potently pitted, Morrison has entered that rarified circle of vocalists-think Shirley Horn, Maxine Sullivan and Andy Bey-whose twilight years prove not just majestic but definitive. She can shape a “Save Your Love for Me” as soft and pure as freshly fallen snow, bask in the satisfied afterglow of “I Had a Talk With My Man Last Night” and craft a hauntingly gorgeous “And I Love Him.” Yet there’s still plenty of pluck and fizz, as sassily demonstrated across a slithery “Black Eyed Blues” and a blistering “Blow Top Blues.”

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