This is Maud Hixson''s first full-length solo CD release, with Rick Carlson on piano.
“Love’s Refrain” is a delectable new CD of intimate Great American Songbook duets by understated singer Maud Hixson and her chapeau-sporting hubby, the ever-eloquent Basie-loving pianist Rick Carlson. Hixson manages to be sultry yet never vampish. She grabs the listener early and often, but always in a conversational manner, always in the service of the lyric. If you’re looking for belting or scatting, go elsewhere. Carlson’s piano accompaniment is similarly devoid of flash - sensitive always, sublime often. “Love’s Refrain” is a timeless album worth amply celebrating, so this CD-release party is a two-night affair." --Tom Surowicz, Minneapolis StarTribune
"The new recording is a perfect reflection of Maud Hixson—-filled with beautiful melodies and enticing lyrics, yet generally avoiding the blockbusters of the Great American Songbook in favor of equally classic but less-often-sung gems from some of the most admired songwriters of the 20th century. She covers Rodgers and Hart, Bob Dorough, Bing Crosby, Harold Arlen, Van Heusen and Burke, Kern and Fields, Strayhorn and Bernstein, and of course Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust,” which provides the snippet of lyric for the title. Each track is a straightforward, gentle swing that pulls the listener inside a warm embrace created by Maud and Rick; it’s a set of ten private moments expanded ever so slightly by our presence.
Without a note of pretension, Maud’s voice on Love’s Refrain is pleasing and airy; she’s a gentle balladeer. The recording could easily be titled “Maud’s Restraint” as it is her understatement that seduces. As the last note dissipates, you can’t help but feel that you have spent the last 40 minutes eavesdropping on an intimate conversation between confidantes, where nuance replaces explicit statement. The power of this music is derived from the quiet delivery of words in melodic wrapping." --Andrea Canter, Jazz Police
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