Karin & Mike Kelleher, 'Melange,' Self-Released, Blends Jazz, Folk, Cabaret [REVIEW]
Husband and wife team Karin and Mike Kelleher's Melange debut is a stunningly gorgeous cabaret drawing from jazz, classical and folk motifs. Instrumentation includes Karin's violin plus a string quartet, acoustic bass, guitar, oboe and light drums. Atop it all, is Mike's wondrous voice that flies like an eagle over these soundscapes. He's pitch-perfect like Garfunkel, Nilsson or Nash/Crosby. (He also produced, arranged and composed.) He works in the White House picking out the 10 letters a day that the President gets to see. She's a classical violinist with the Maryland Symphony and the Annapolis Symphony.
Highlights abound. "Ancka's Dolphin Dance" is taken from Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance" with a new arrangement and new lyrics by Mike who also merges WC Handy's "Chantez Les Bas" blues with Brahm's "Violin Concerto, Adagio" for what he calls "Chantez Les Brahms." Then there's the two-track "Something Suite" mixing Bach's "Violin Partita #2" with George Harrison's "Something" and the two-track "Lune Dreams" which is even more adventurous, mixing "Moon Dreams" (Miles Davis) with "Claire de Lune" (both the Debussy piece and the Verlaine poem).
Lush, ethereal, surprising, not exactly folk music (although "Black Is The Color" comes close) and not exactly classical (although "One Perfect Day" utilizes Bach's "Cello Suite Prelude in E-flat" as a pretext for some lite-rock, an original counter-melody and Mike's lyrics). Mike has his way with Bach's "Kyrie" too (from "Mass in B-minor") as he uses it as a base for The Carter Family's "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" sung to the tune of Dave Holland's "Empty Chair." It's called "Kyrieousity."
Karin and Mike Kelleher will perform October 12 at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C.