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In 1985, as I was putting together my first personal music studio, I lusted after the latest Yamaha reverb unit (SPX90, I think), but they were uncommon, expensive, and hard to get at the time. I special ordered mine and when it finally arrived, I started putting reverb on EVERYTHING: drums, keys, effects, voice, you name it. It made good material sound fuller, but it didn't make bad material sound any better. Doggone it! Well, that's the same as this CD. You've got Helen Merrill (who I am a big, and biased, fan of) singing through "super ginormous room" reverb, and you've got Gordon Beck (who I've never heard of) playing piano through "empty concert hall echo" reverb, and honestly, after a couple minutes of it, it's not enjoyable. I understand the producers' need to enhance the sound, since you just have one singer singing and one piano playing (although, inexplicably, there are tracks with an electric piano or organ and some kind of bass playing that I could not find credited anywhere), but I can't help getting the feeling that, with the CD having been recorded in 1984 and released in 1985, the producers also just picked up their first Yamaha SPX90 and were putting it through its paces at Helen and Gordon's expense. That said, overall sound quality is pretty good, so at least they knew how to properly use the rest of their equipment. The liner notes accompanying this recording are about the lamest I ever read, some kind of "I know more about music than you do" kind of essay translated from French, so I learned nothing about the performers or performance, which is a negative for a musician like me. Song selection on this CD is maybe not completely logical and it doesn't really give any insight into (what I consider) the unusual pairing of these two artists. Not surprisingly, I don't think either Helen or Gordon got to show all of what they could do. Just the same, I couldn't find anything to complain about with Helen's voice and performance (naturally), even with the deep constant reverb being somewhat tiring. Beck's piano is exciting and moving in spurts and jumps, but overall, I didn't hear him doing anything particularly interesting or skillful, and my guess is that my piano instructor (who is very good) could probably do better. I gave this four stars, but it might be more on the short side of that. What pushes it back up is my seconding the motion in The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Eighth Edition (Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings), which still holds true: Helen Merrill has never made a bad record, and indeed, this is a good, but not great, recording.