The jazz duo of Catherine Goldwyn and Phil Lewis have released their latest LP record, “Shadow and Light.” The album contains 11 tracks for an approximate total listening time of one hour. It has been proudly published on the Continuum independent music label without direction from the corporate music industry. Sharp, classy, and showcasing the sonic imagination of two of the most veteran players in contemporary jazz, “Shadow and Light” stands as one of the best examples of piano and guitar pairings in recent memory.
Catherine Goldwyn and Phil Lewis have been playing together since 2002 when they met at a Los Angeles jam session. They cite as main artistic influences legends like Louis Armstrong, and the genres of world music and classical music. The Armstrong shows in their use of phrasing, the classical in their use of melodic narration.
“Our goal is to create jazz that tells a story,” they write. “We want to take the listener on a journey.”
Goldwyn and Lewis both have decades of experience in jazz, but “Shadow and Light” is their debut LP together. After 11 years of music together, they married in 2013. They want their first album to be more than business-as-usual jazz for jazz aficionados.
“We really wanted this music to resonate with a wide range of listeners, not just a jazz audience,” they write, “so we chose to put our focus on strong melodies. What’s really important in music is emotion. That’s the currency of music. And we both felt that jazz has, in many cases, come to be defined too much by technical theories and virtuosic spectacle. We wanted to bring the direct, emotive element back to the music.”
This reactive, pliable feeling is palpable on “Shadow and Light.” Audiophiles who can’t get into by-the-numbers jazz and don’t think highly of anything but improv and hotseat sessions will find plenty to enjoy on Goldwyn and Lewis’ debut LP. Their current official bio remarks that, “Although the duo spent a year composing and refining new material, it was important that the recording not lose the spontaneity of the jazz idiom.”
Goldwyn writes, “Plan to improvise – that’s my credo in music and in life. So we leave lots of room for improvisation. In fact we can’t ever seem to play a tune the same way twice.”
In addition to the considerable talents of Goldwyn and Lewis on “Shadow and Light” are drummer Jake Reed, bassist John Belzaguy, and percussionist Pete Korpela.
Session vibraphonist Gary Burton writes of the album, “[T]he guitar and piano weave together, evenly matched, always complementary. I’m reminded of how longtime friends complete each other’s sentences.”
“This record is our ‘love child,’” writes Lewis. “The opportunity to record with Catherine was like a
dream come true for me. She is not only one of the best composers I know but she is the love of my life, my muse, my inspiration.”
“Shadow and Light” by Catherine Goldwyn and Phil Lewis is available at over 700 online music outlets worldwide now.
Lead Press Release Writer
“Shadow and Light” by Catherine Goldwyn and Phil Lewis –