|Simone Dinnerstein & Tift Merritt — Night (2013)|
Simone Dinnerstein & Tift Merritt — Night
Birth name: Simone Andréa Dinnerstein
Born: September 18, 1972, New York City, New York, USA
≈ She studied in the pre-college program at the Manhattan School of Music with Solomon Mikowsky. She later attended The Juilliard School of Music and was a student of Peter Serkin. She also studied in London with Maria Curcio.
Location/Personal life: A former piano teacher, Dinnerstein resides in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, Jeremy Greensmith, a 5th grade teacher at P.S. 321, and their son, Adrian.
≈ Dinnerstein's father, Simon Dinnerstein, is a painter.
Album release: March 15, 2013
Record Label: Sony Classical/Masterworks
01. Only in Songs by Tift Merritt (3:41)
02. Night and Dreams by Franz Schubert (3:54)
03. Don’t Explain by Billie Holiday from an arr. by Nina Simone (4:12)
04. Dido’s Lament by Henry Purcell (3:03)
05. I Shall Weep at Night by Brad Mehldau (4:49)
06. Wayfaring Stranger (traditional) (3:38)
07. Prelude in B minor arr. by A. Siloti from J.S. Bach’s Clavier-Büchlein vor W.F. Bach (1:33)
08. Still Not Home by Tift Merritt (3:15)
09. I will give my love an apple (traditional) (1:46)
10. Colors by Tift Merritt (3:31)
11. The Cohen Variations by Daniel Felsenfeld (6:42)
12. Night by Patty Griffin from an arr. by Jenny Scheinman (3:02)
13. Feel of the World by Tift Merritt (4:34)
14. I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash (3:23)
Birth name: Catherine Tift Merritt
Born: January 8, 1975, Houston, Texas
Origin: Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
≈ American singer-songwriter, musician and North Carolina native. With her longtime band, she has built what has been called a "unique" and critically acclaimed body of work of "sonic short stories and poignant performances." She has been compared to songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris.
≈ Merritt has released two studio albums for Lost Highway Records and two for Fantasy Records. Her live albums so far are Home Is Loud released in 2005 and Buckingham Solo released in 2009.
Instruments: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Harmonica
≈ Pianist Simone Dinnerstein and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt join forces for the first time in NIGHT, a unique collaboration merging classical, folk, and rock worlds, exploring common terrain and uncovering new musical landscapes.
≈ NIGHT features new songs written especially for the duo by Brad Mehldau (I Shall Weep at Night) and Patty Griffin (Night), as well as Tift Merritt's own songs (Only in Songs, Still Not Home, Colors, Feel of the World), and classical selections (an arrangement of Schubert's Night and Dreams, Bach's Prelude in B minor). The album also includes the world premiere recording of The Cohen Variations by Daniel Felsenfeld, a solo piano piece commissioned by Dinnerstein based on one of her favorite songs, Leonard Cohen's Suzanne.
Website SD: http://www.simonedinnerstein.com/ / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/simonedinnerstein
Website TM: www.tiftmerritt.com
By Dave Franklin (http://www.greenmanmusic.biz)
≈ When two worlds collide the results can often be as unexpected and constructive, as they are unique and beautiful, especially when the worlds in question are two normally exclusive musical genres. The two worlds of Simone Dinnerstein and Tift Merritt could not be further apart, the former a Julliard trained classical pianist, the later a self-taught singer-songwriter from North Carolina, but the resulting collision has created a wondrous album. But if both artists were venturing into musical territory that was outside their comfort zone to find the common ground that lay between them, it was a risk worth taking and Night is a wonderfully brave piece of work.
≈ It is an album of delicate spaces, soulful atmospherics, hushed tones and gossamer flights of musical fancy. Wandering between guitar led timeless acoustic arrangements, hauntingly textured minimal piano and voice, it is often the fact that they have chosen not to build these songs into bigger, over instrumented numbers that provides the real impact, with space and anticipation becoming an additional instrument in itself.
≈ As wonderful as these songs are, it is not until you realise the way they have been constructed that you can appreciate the full brilliance of what has been achieved here. ≈ Along side original compositions are some inspired re-interpretations of iconic music. ≈ Taking Schubert’s’ Nacht und Traume and adding distant harmonicas to move the arrangement into a Dixie dreamland is just one trick they have pulled off; Nina Simone jostles for space alongside Henry Purcell, Leonard Cohen finds himself in the company of Bach and Johnny Nash’s I Can See Clearly provides the perfect swansong, at once retaining it’s classic pop status yet being elevated into something of almost hymn like proportions.
≈ But these are no mere covers, this is complete generic gene-splicing, creating musical chimeras where you recognise the original forms yet are presented with something totally new, brilliantly rendered, of mesmerising beauty and which rises above the idea of musical pigeon-holing or playing by rules.
By Tom Huizenga; March 10, 201310:30 PM
≈ Those steeped in radio-station jargon know all about "dayparting" — knowing when to program what depending on the habits of listeners during any given part of the day.
≈ Any program director faced with the new album by Tift Merritt and Simone Dinnerstein need only read the album's title to get an idea of when to schedule it. The songs on Night, out March 19, are of the introspective, after-dark variety, perhaps best heard alone by candlelight. They bear titles like "Night and Dreams" and "I Shall Weep at Night." There's a solemn intimacy to these songs, and how they're delivered, that speaks one-on-one.
≈ But the real question is, which type of radio station would play the album? Merritt is a singer-songwriter who considers herself a folk musician. Dinnerstein is a classical pianist who built a career on J.S. Bach. Even in our put-it-on-shuffle, anything-goes-together era, this combination of alt-country and classical music is uncommon.
≈ Still, the 14 songs on Night — an extension of concerts the two have performed together over the past couple years — commingle and play off each other. They unfold almost like a classical song cycle, even though they come from such disparate sources as Franz Schubert, Billie Holiday, Brad Mehldau, Patty Griffin and Merritt herself.
≈ Merritt probably had the most to lose here. She's brave to take on a jazz standard like Holiday's "Don't Explain" or a staple of the classical German art-song repertoire. Playing it smart, she doesn't transform herself into a jazz or opera singer. Her approach is honest and engaged, if a little surprising. It's not every day that you hear a harmonica waft through a freewheeling English translation of Schubert's "Nacht und Träume" (Night and Dreams), a sublime ode to the safety of dreamland.
≈ Night opens with a dream for a better world in Merritt's "Only in Songs." She asks, achingly, if a place "where power is something you just give away" could only come true in the interior world of songwriting. Midway through the album, we find an ethereal Bach prelude, the traditional "Wayfaring Stranger" and an ambitious set of solo piano variations on Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" by Daniel Felsenfeld.
≈ At the very end, however, night dissolves into day. As its journey winds down, the album reaches upward to close with a cover of Johnny Nash's 1972 hit "I Can See Clearly Now." Perhaps Merritt and Dinnerstein are suggesting that the lure of the night — with all its intimacy and creativity — can be strong, but that we all need to wipe the sleep from our eyes eventually. (Fortaken: http://www.npr.org) © (Photo credit: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco Courtesy of the artist)
|Simone Dinnerstein & Tift Merritt — Night (2013)|