Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

Monika Herzig: Come With Me

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Pianist Monika Herzig’s second Owl Studios album is a supple affair of voicing and taste. The originals by this Indiana musician bespeak her catholic approach, particularly the jaunty “Italian Taxi Ride,” the brooding “Heavy Burden” and the sweeping title track memorializing a trip Herzig and her husband, guitarist Peter Kienle, made to their hometown in Germany.

Herzig also picks covers astutely, underlining the darkness within Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and making Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia” a spare, soulful salute to the state they share. She turns Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” into a blues; Tom Clark’s tenor saxophone provides an earthiness the original lacks. These covers are transformations, all of them accessible. (Also catch Clark on soprano sax on “The Pianists Say,” a very pretty, swinging Herzig original.)

Herzig’s arrangements, often quickened by the no-nonsense violin of Carolyn Dutton, are warm, her lines assured and purposeful. Kienle, who only plays on two tracks, picks his pointed spots on “Paradise on Ice,” one of Herzig’s more pictorial pieces. Bassist Frank Smith works fine with the drummer, be he Steve Davis or Kenny Phelps, and percussionist Joe Galvin and the mercurial Dutton spice “Ole,” the wildest original.

Packaged with a DVD, Come With Me attests to a rare combination of elbow grease and creativity. Many such DVDs are superfluous, but this one shows how Herzig lives and works. You may not like the sentimentality that pervades Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf’s title poem, but you’ll appreciate the industriousness and imagination of the woman who assembled this package.

Originally Published