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Cerulean Blue by Laura Klein & Ted Wolfe

All the virtues of the jazz duo are heard on Cerulean Blue. Here, we have pianist Laura Klein and vibraphonist Ted Wolfe together, creating an eminently listenable recording. It is obvious they have played together many times listening to them anticipate and flesh out each other’s ideas.

Although Klein writes that they were initially inspired by the Gary Burton/Chick Corea collaborations, they have developed an exciting, lyrical and highly interactive style of their own. The tracks include originals by both Klein and Wolfe, along with jazz standards and American pop favorites.

Klein was raised in New York City. After studying piano at the Manhattan School of Music and getting a BA in Music from SUNY Buffalo, she has taught jazz at Berklee College of Music. Now living in San Francisco, she regularly plays at local venues, including popular Yoshi's. Extremely talented, she is both a performer and composer.

Wolff is a Bay Area native. He also attended Berklee where he met Klein. He has, notably, performed with guitarists Bill Frisell and Mike Stern and drummer Joe Hunt. Heavily influenced by vibe player Burton, Wolff has a particularly warn sound as is apparent on this CD.

Some highlights include the title track written by Klein. After a slow pensive opening, the two get down into a bluesy mood accentuated by Klein’s hint of stride, while Wolfe’s light and breezy "Peau Douce" particularly shows off their interplay.

Exhibiting how they take standards and re-shape them with their improvisational skill is Jimmy Vain Heusen’s "It Could Happen to You." Another case, in Cole Porter’s intense "I Concentrate On You," Wolfe takes prominence on the melody but just as interesting is how Klein skillfully noodles behind him. On Pat Matheny's "The Chief," Wolfe underlines his skill with the mallets.

This is the duo’s first record date, but, with this achievement, there should certainly be more.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Laura Klein & Ted Wolfe
  • CD Title: Cerulean Blue
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Self -Produced
  • Tracks: Voyage, In a Grain of Sand, Impromp-2, Secrets and Lies, Peau Douce, It Could Happen To You, Cerulean Blue, I Concentrate On You, Aung San Suu Kyi, Lament, The Chief
  • Musicians: Laura Klein (piano). Ted Wolfe (vibraphone)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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