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Kendra Shank & John Stowell: New York Conversations

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John Stowell was already well established as a jazz guitarist when, nearly 25 years ago, he met up-and-coming vocalist Kendra Shank in her hometown of Seattle. After Shank migrated east to New York, they began gigging as a duo. Until now, though, they’ve never recorded together. On previous albums, Shank, also an accomplished guitarist, either accompanied herself or called on Ben Monder.

This overdue union was borne out of an impromptu 2011 recording session at the Manhattan studio of sound engineer John Kilgore (whose kinship with Stowell dates to their school days in the 1960s). As Shank explains in the liner notes, “We just did some free improvising, called some tunes and just jammed for a few hours.” So satisfying was the experience that additional, equally unstructured sessions were scheduled, ultimately resulting in the 15 musical conversations collected here.

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