Oct
2
2018

Gregory Generet/Richard Johnson

2 OF A KIND

(Afar Music)

51ZvC7v3BBL__SS5007/10

It’s the quality of the voice that makes you do a double-take. Gregory Generet is blessed with a baritone of such lusciousness as has rarely been heard in jazz (aside from Andy Bey), making for a distinctive tension between sound and material. But it only takes the opener, Angel Eyes, to adjust; to realise that this sumptuousness enriches the music both sonically and in terms of sheer contrast with the surrounding piquancy of conventional jazz instrumentation.

Inevitably it especially suits the ballads, the breadth of the vocal tone thickening the lyrics’ impact on a song like You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To. I can imagine to some ears it will still sound like a crooner has stumbled into a jazz gig, but Generet has the instincts to keep the music loping and lithe. His key collaborator is pianist Richard Johnson, with whom he shares a striking duet on The Shadow of Your Smile. Johnson also spices the repertoire with convincing original songs, and has assembled a band capable of laying back or hitting the button marked “incendiary” when required: trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, saxophonist Jonathan Beshay, bassist Barry Stephenson and drummer Henry Conerway III.