Monday, March 16, 2009

Feels Like 1991 Again: Kevyn Lettau's and Peter Sprague's WHAT IS ENOUGH?

On my way to work 2 weeks ago, I tuned in to 106.7 FM and was greeted by two of my favorite sounds: Kevyn Lettau's voice and Peter Sprague's guitar. I was certain the radio station was playing music from Lettau's 1991 album, Braziljazz--except for the life of me, I couldn't recognize the tune.

Odd, I thought, as I was well-acquainted with the CD, and had often recommended it to those with an ear for new Brazilian-inspired music performed austerely--with only voice, acoustic guitar, and hand-held percussions to breathe magic into the Latin melodies.

Fortunately, after the track had played its final chord, the announcer on board identified the song to be a fresh cut from Lettau's and Sprague's first album as a duo (Braziljazz was with Lettau, Sprague, as well as Lettau's husband, percussionist Michael Shapiro), WHAT IS ENOUGH, released late last year. 

A trip to MUSIC ONE led me to the CD--a compilation of 12 delightful tracks traversing Brazilian samba and jazz swing, all recorded with that unplugged feeling and organic rhythm I have so enjoyed with Braziljazz. Joyful are are covers of John Mayer's  BELIEF, Stevie Wonder's HAVE A TALK WITH GOD, and Antonio Carlos Jobim's WATERS OF MARCH. But equally divine are WHAT IS ENOUGH (Lettau's collaboration with guitarist Mike Stern, who recently performed an instrumental version at the Rockwell Tent during the Philippine International Jazz and Arts Festival), DRAWN TO YOU (written by Lettau and Yelowjackets keyboardist Russel Ferrante), as well as Lettau's and Sprague's CANTAR. Oh, and Lettau's fans will be excited about her new and minimalist rendition of the classic, SUNLIGHT.

All in all, WHAT IS ENOUGH is a wonderful CD to invest in. And as usual, Lettau's followers in the Philippines and Japan are among the first to be exposed to it (as of last checking, amazon has no record that the CD even exists). The music and talent are as fresh as they were in 1991, and the the experience of listening, as glorious as being re-acquainted with a dear, old friend.

Here is that track I first heard from the album, HEED MY CALL:

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