REVIEW: Lilly B. Gardner/Daniel Kobialka’s “Livin’ And Lovin’ With Cole Porter”

Lilly B. Gardner/Daniel Kobialka photo LillyB_cover_zps1162b69d.jpg Livin’ And Lovin’ With Cole Porter (LiSem) is a nice and jazzy tribute to the composer by pianist Lilly B. Gardner and violinist Daniel Kobialka, but one that could easily be considered easy listening, a style of music that I’m not ashamed to say I love. The liner notes immediately calls this “mood music” and rightfully so, as this is the perfect Saturday or Sunday morning music to listen while having a cup of coffee, tea, or brandy. The renditions of material like “I Get A Kick Out Of You”, “I Concentrate On You”, “Night And Day”, “In The Still Of The Night”, and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” are beautiful and even eloquent, and I could easily find myself listening to this all day.

The strings are credited as being by the Koblsai Soundings Ensemble, although I’m not sure if it’s an actual string ensemble conducted by Kobialka or just a code name for him playing keyboards and using sound files to create it, but regardless of what it is, it adds to the music instead of making it clear that it is synthesized/computerized, and I think it blends well with the real instrumentation if it is indeed pre-programmed sounds. While this is meant to represent a tribute to serious music, I would not mind hearing easy listening renditions of some of today’s songs, performed in this exact style. For fans of Porter, this is a dream come true.

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