Friday, February 22, 2013

This Is What It Means to Get Better with Age: John B. Williams and Nancy Wilson (audio)

Amber Holcomb's rendition of "My Funny Valentine" reminded me how much I love the song, and despite already having multiple copies of the classic by different artists, I went in search of other versions. As a result, I discovered bassist John B. Williams's cut of "You'll See/My Funny Valentine" with the incomparable Nancy Wilson on vocals. You'll find the track on the musician's Gratitude (2005) album/CD, which I strongly urge you to buy.

The song "You'll See" precedes "My Funny Valentine," flowing right into the latter with Nancy Wilson crooning out "Valentine" at such a high pitch I had to wonder, What motivates that kind of choice from a seasoned singer?" It works, though, it really works. If you can listen to the sample embedded in this post, you'll see what I mean. It's duende at work. She'll make you truly comprehend what it means to call a voice "an instrument." Her choices astound me, and the two tracks blend well together.

Wilson and Williams groove like old lovers, and that should not surprise me, considering how long they've been together. On track 6, "Blame It On My Youth," Wilson jokingly sounds rather proprietary about the musician. Calling him "my bassist," she says that he's been with her for 22 or 23 years, only leaving when she's "allowed him to go" play a gig or two on television.

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