A number of singers, songwriters, and performers are already responding through their art to the pandemic touching each aspect of American life. The flutist duo of Steve Markoff and Patricia Lazzara might seem like unlikely contributors to that musical dialogue but their latest single “If I Could Reach Your Heart”, but they are not exempt from the viruses’ effects. Lazzara, Markoff, and pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti recorded the new single while quarantining in their respective homes. They’ve slated this track for inclusion on the trio’s upcoming new album Romances in Blue and it is indicative of the trio’s fluency with a variety of musical styles; to lean a little on cliché, there’s nothing they can’t play. You can hear the long-established chemistry between these musicians, Markoff and Lazzara particularly, and it more than sustains the entirety of this performance.
There’s a haunting quality to the track from the outset. It isn’t mired in despair but rather elegiac in tone. Markoff and Lazzara weave their flute playing around one another and it is a true joy to hear how well their alto flute and flute mesh performing this composition. They assume a lyrical demeanor at the outset that they don’t soon surrender; the flute lines swirl, weave, and accentuate Franzetti’s piano playing with melodic counterpoint that is difficult to forget. The production handles the three instruments at the heart of this tune with a spirit of balance; no one element overshadows another and, instead, they work together towards enriching the song.
Though Markoff and Lazzara receive top billing of sorts, the piano playing of Allison Brewster Franzetti is unquestionably critical to the success of this recording. She provides the melodic underpinning that allows all things to be possible in the top line melody and her graceful transitions from one phrase to the next is a highlight of the track. The song’s construction has clear definition; attentive listeners will recognize individual sections conforming to our expectations of a top flight pop song.
“If I Could Reach Your Heart” implies it’s a ballad by title alone and there’s little else in the track that will convince listeners otherwise. It isn’t the sort of ham-fisted melodramatic ballad we’ve come to know from this sort of material, however, but rather a delicate and free-flowing invocation of the form. It’s running time of a little over four and a half minutes will present no problems for many. Some will feel like a track of this ilk demands to be a little shorter in the interest of focus, but it is nice to hear the trio stretch out instrumentally.
We’ll likely be hearing a lot more songs born under similar conditions – musicians in different locales because of the COVID-19 virus forced to alter their methods of working together so they can get on with the business of making music. “If I Could Reach Your Heart” is, by any measure, a stirring success rather a fragmented flop. This is a duo who prove themselves capable of adapting to unusual circumstances without missing a beat and should whet anyone’s appetite for their new album release.
The music of STEVE MARKOFF and PATRICIA LAZZARA has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division. Learn more https://musikandfilm.com