The Music That Made 2023 Special

Gretchen Parlato & Lionel Loueke – "Lean In" (Edition Records) – This is an intimate collection of songs from two fine musicians who have known each other several decades. Basically a duo album (there are several guest contributors) but the focus of the music is on the interplay of the voice and guitar. Both leaders brought music to the sessions yet the program feels and sounds organic.  Mr. Loueke's guitar work is superlative throughout as are Ms. Parlato's vocals –– it's amazing how rhythmical this music is, how percussive the guitar work can be, and how sweet the results are.  Let's hope this is just the first Editions Recording of this splendid duo. — Step Tempest, Jan 4, 2024