Judy Night, Sliding on Glass
Judy Night – piano
TC Furlong – steel pedal guitar
Brian Wilkie – guitar
Jackson Kidder – bass
Justin Kramer – drums
Chicago pianist Judy Night’s debut, the delightful, is an accessible and charming album that highlights Night’s elegant style. Recorded live on August 5th2018 at the 210, a venue Night co-owns, it features her with her working group for an intimate program of seven covers and one of her composition.
Night’s sole original, the title track, is lyrical and impressionistic with abundant hints of Americana. The pianist’s shimmering keys cascade with bittersweet tones while steel pedal guitarist TC Furlong adds a warm folkish feel with his twangy lines. The ensemble refrains undulate with understated passion.
Furlong shines on the country tune “Wichita Linemen” that also features a blues tinged performance from guitarist Brian Wilkie. Night’s smooth refrains together with hypnotic bass/drums vamps bring a buoyancy to the music.
Wilkie embellishes the haunting melody with contemplative melancholy on guitarist John Abercrombie’s “Timeless”. Night contributes resonant and wistful phrases as. bassist Jackson Kidder solos with eloquence.
Night opens prog rock band, King Crimson’s “Moonchild” with intriguing synthesizer notes. She deftly switches between piano and synthesizer demonstrating her virtuosity on both instruments. Drummer Justin Kramer drives the piece with his restless percolating beats and takes center stage, briefly, with understated poignancy.
The quintet interprets “Do You Hear What I Hear”, the unique Christmas song that became a plea for peace, with dramatic flair. Night’s cinematic piano contrasts with and complements Furlong’s pensive strings and Wilkie’s ardent chords. Kramer sets a martial cadence that Kidder punctuates with his thumping bass.
Although short on improvisational rigor this discis highly enjoyable and engaging. It showcases Night’s versatility and her skills are a composer and performer as well as the cohesive synergy of the band. Given this and the variety of the material within Sliding on Glasswill definitely have a wide appeal.