Carol Kidd & Nigel Clark – Tell Me Once Again
(Linn AKD 377, CD review by Chris Parker)
Scottish singer Carol Kidd and guitarist Nigel Clark have been including a duo feature in her live act for many years now, but this is the first time they have devoted an entire recording to it.
Setting out their stall with the ultimate exposition of the pathetic fallacy, the
Arlen/Koehler classic ‘Stormy Weather’, and judiciously interspersing standards and show/film tunes with more modern songs and the odd original thereafter, Kidd and Clark explore the world of problematic and lost love with a rare delicacy throughout this twelve-song set, reproducing the hushed intimacy they achieve in their live performances with touching visits to the familiar (‘The Shadow of Your Smile’, ‘Moon River’, ‘Alfie’) and the more contemporary (Stevie Wonder’s ‘Moon Blue’, their own ‘Tell Me Once Again’).
A sure indication of Kidd’s subtlety and sheer class as an interpreter of the confidential ballad is her ability to inject new life into perhaps over-familiar material; here, she somehow manages to perform ‘Alfie’ as if thinking aloud, brings out all the slave-era tragedy of ‘I Loves You Porgy’, and infuses ‘Moon River’ with a degree of touching wonder that has enabled her to make it a new signature song.
Less overtly dramatic material, too (most notably Jerry Herman’s ‘He Won’t Send Roses’), is tenderly delivered, Kidd’s characterful voice perfectly complemented by Clark’s spare, sympathetic guitar, and overall, this is both a valuable record of a long-lasting musical partnership and an affecting programme of intelligently selected songs, flawlessly presented.