SECRET GARDEN is the third “Lockdown Opus” from the prolific singer/songwriter duo of QUARRINGTON and ADAMS, aka Q&A.
Following OLD SCHOOL (2020) and DEMO-LISTEN DERBY (2021), this one is a bit of a departure from the earlier two. “We were aiming at something different, a little more moody and inward- “jazz” by way of being sophisticated and exploratory,” says Zoey. “The two earlier pandemic releases were more eclectic, more diverse in style and genre.”
Tony explains, “The majority of songs on SECRET GARDEN began with melodies that I composed trying to be harmonically dense – more angular and surprising. Sometimes I was deliberately aiming to invoke Billy Strayhorn, Jimmy Webb or Kurt Weill. Zoey’s lyrics followed and it all fell into place. The opening track, “A Debt to Chet” began with a boppish melody very reminiscent of the late trumpeter, Chet Baker (1929-88). So, I gave the melody its title, and Zoey was able to create the lyrical narrative. Teamwork.”
SECRET GARDEN also features some of the finest musicians on the Toronto scene: John Adames (drums), Shelley Coopersmith (violin), Kevin Goss (clarinet and baritone saxophone), Leslie Huyler (conga, claves), Stuart Laughton (trumpet, flugelhorn, harmonica), Jeff McLoed (accordion, piano, organ). “Imagine our surprise and delight to find to find them available and so flexible with their time,” quips Zoey, “A little silver lining in the ‘no live music gigs’ pandemic thing! We were so thrilled to have them.” The lovely jazz flavour of SECRET GARDEN is spiced up with some extra seasoning- a little dash of humour, a sprinkling of R&B, and a bit of froth on top. “And”, laughs Tony, “if you want to hear Zoey tap dance, go immediately to track eleven!”
Tony and Zoey hope you enjoy this third CD in their “Pandemic Trilogy”.
Catalog Number: SP00015 UPC /EAN: 197077309171 Label: Sonic Peach Music Formats: Standard Definition: 44.1kHz/16 bit High Definition: 96kHz/24 bit
A bright, boppish tune with a playful lyric in tribute to the late trumpet player. Vocals Zoey Adams, solos by Stuart Laughton (trumpet) and Tony Quarrington (guitar).
It Was Always You
An “Old World” romantic tune in a medium tempo. Musically and lyrically a nod to Kurt Weill. Vocal by Zoey. Fine accordion solo by Jeff McLeod.
This medium tempo meditation began life as a wistful melody and a drum loop. Zoey sings the lyric she penned, and TQ (acoustic guitar) and Shelley Coopersmith (violin) provide the solos.
Give and Take
This peppy light hearted swing tune features duo vocals (Zoey and Tony), solos on bass (TQ) and organ (Jeff McLeod) and a lot of good advice.
Lost in the Undertow
Moody jazz ballad a la Billy Strayhorn featuring harmonica (Stuart Laughton) and baritone sax (Kevin Goss).
Oh Silly Me
Cute medium swing tune. Vocals Zoey, clarinet Kevin Goss, guitar TQ.
Dramatic, meditative tune inspired by Jimmy Webb. Features a yearning vocal by Zoey and nylon string guitar (TQ).
This title tune is a mystical Latin composition featuring Spanish guitar (TQ), percussion (Leslie Huyler) and a romantic lyric and vocal (Zoey).
If You See Me Coming
A tender Memphis-style ballad, with more than a nod to the late, great Jessie Winchester. Tony is featured on lead vocal, and backed by soulful organ (Jeff McLeod) and harmonica (Stuart Laughton).
Waking Up to Fog
An enigmatic jazz waltz featuring Tony on guitar and Kevin Goss on baritone sax. Behind Zoey’s plaintive vocal, Stuart Laughton on flugelhorn and John Adames on drums also contribute to the swirling ambiguity of this track.
Date With Tomorrow
This whimsical tune harks back to a 1930’s sound. Zoey’s vocal is backed up by Kevin Goss on twin clarinets. And yes, the percussion in the solo is Zoey tap dancing in her kitchen.
Good Bad Boy
Clever word play and a bouncy blues feeling animate this selection. Vocal by Zoey, solos by TQ (guitar ) and Jeff McLeod (organ). Leslie Hulyer provided the percussion and the spontaneous assessment at the end. We decided to leave it in. So would you, we think.
Eres Mi Sol
A romantic Cuban bolero with a Spanish lyric composed and performed by Zoey. TQ on guitar and Jeff McLeod on piano share the solo.
A witty, bluesy tune featuring Tony on lead vocal. The message? Sometimes it feels right to go down the wrong path.
When It Slipped Away
A bittersweet jazz ballad with a tender vocal by Zoey. TQ (guitar) and Jeff McLoeod (piano) trade off sections of the solo.