Running a little over four and a half minutes long, Steve Markoff and Patricia Lazzara team once again with pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti for the instrumental single “If I Could Reach Your Heart”. The track comes from Markoff and Lazzara’s new album release Romances in Blue. They recorded it under unusual circumstances. The pandemic forced Lazzara, Markoff, and Franzetti to record the track quarantined at home but, thankfully, the fragmented nature of realizing rhe song’s potential doesn’t mar the final results. It shows how Markoff and Lazzara working together for so long has fostered an interplay between even distance cannot undo. That interplay is audible throughout the entirety of “If I Could Reach Your Heart”.
If you aren’t carried away by the melodic sweep of “If I Could Reach Your Heart”, check your hearing. Lazzara and Markoff make it sound easy, like all the best performers do, but even a cursory listen makes it apparent they labored long to achieve the right balance of disparate parts to make the performance work. It isn’t their songwriting, but the three musicians working together on this recording tackle the track with all of the commitment you would expect from a musician who authored the track themselves.
The melodies laden throughout the tune are quite solid. The writing has a vivid ear for concocting melodies certain to linger long after the song concludes and, without knowledge of what instruments the authors had in mind when they originally wrote the piece, Lazzara and Markoff bring it to colorful life with their flute playing. Chemistry is a word often batted about when discussing how musicians work together without much regard for what constitutes genuine chemistry, but it fits here. Markoff and Lazzara seem to anticipate each other on their respective instruments, alto flute and flute, and Franzetti is an active part of that ongoing dialogue.
The production is first class. The trio never dresses up the track with unnecessary gloss, but the recording wreathes the arrangement with a light amount of atmospherics. It frames each of the song’s three instruments in an even-handed way rather than allowing one player outshine the others; it’s another aspect of the performance that testifies to the well-rounded nature of the songwriting and arranging. The melancholy mood of the performance comes through thanks to this treatment and never sounds cheap.
Instrumental music is a hard sell in even the best of times. A virus ravages our world and overturns business as usual in a way we may never return from, but it is nice to know, instrumental or not, that artists remain committed to recording new music in these perilous times. The latest single from Steve Markoff and Patricia Lazzara, “If I Could Reach Your Heart”, is an instrumental, yes, but it is full of the same sense of possibility and human emotion that make for the best songs. It’s yet another impressive addition to this duo’s growing musical catalog and not just well worth a listen, but worth returning to time after time.
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 musikandfilm.com