|William Bolcom & Joan Morris|
The duo that interpreted the American Songbook, with both heart and mind, enraptured the audience at Ford Hall during an evening performance. Shown here are William and Joan, partnering in teaching a Masterclass on song styling, the next day, for voice students at Ithaca College.
William Bolcom pianist, Pulitzer Prize recipient, and composer, and mezzo-soprano Joan Morris - Oct.12-13 2008, conducted masterclasses and lectured; with a concert performance October 13 at Ford Hall, Whalen Center for Music. In their recorded anthologies of American popular song, the husband-wife team of William Bolcom and Joan Morris have winningly presented vernacular music as light classical concert music distinguished from its European counterpart by the absorption of Afro-American influences.Through the eyes of Mr. Bolcom and Ms. Morris, American pop history is very different in spirit from the past as interpreted by Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday, since the pair admits no saloon melancholy into its sunny parlor. Even in a wistful mode, Ms. Morris's winsome mezzo-soprano communicates a sweet-natured playfulness. Mr. Bolcom's spare, barreling pianism, which establishes brisk tempos, keeps strict rhythms and features powerful bass lines, convincingly portrays ragtime - an essentially happy style - as the pivotal ingredient in American pop.(Stephen Holden; New York Times, Published: January 20, 1987)
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