The vocal group Duchess (Hilary Gardner, Amy Cervini, Melissa Stylianou) released its debut album on February 17, 2015. I produced it and wrote many of the arrangements.

Duchess has been on my mind for a long time. Amy is my wife, and the ensemble grew organically from her 55 Bar residency. The group's story and album's genesis are covered well on this YouTube clip:

and if you don't know it yet, you should listen to the album using the link at the bottom.

There are also some astute reviews of the album available online from JazzTimes' Christopher Loudon, and DownBeat magazine's Bobby Reed.

One of the unusual things about this group and the music we make together (and there are many) is that everyone exposed to the group "gets it." Audiences respond to the music with words like "Fun", "Swinging", "Entertaining", "Beautiful", "Joyful". Musicians hear some of the complex things going on with the vocals and the band arrangements, and critics pick up on the respect and reverence to old-school recordings and entertainment, and the joy in music-making that is so apparent in everything the group does (just look at the CD cover!). 

So, there's not much more left for me to say. When you listen to the recording, or see Duchess live, you will get it too. What you see with Duchess is what is really going on behind the scenes. We have a blast. We want to have fun, and we want you to know it. We want to radiate joy into the listener's world, and we want to do all that while executing the music flawlessly with respect and care for the lyrics and melodies. It sounds simple. It IS simple. But simple is sometimes very hard to achieve. Everything needs to be in place - and with Duchess, it really feels like it is.