Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews

Katia Labeque – Shape of My Heart – KML

Katia - who of the sisters has stronger pop/rock connections - has put together a crossover album that achieves a very wide appeal without getting kitschy or compromising as so many crossover albums do.

Published on November 7, 2009

Katia Labeque – Shape of My Heart – KML

Katia Labeque – Shape of My Heart – KML  2119, 54:41 [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] ****:

(Katia Labeque, piano; Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock & Gonzalo Rubalcaba, pianos; Sting, vocals; David Chalmin, vocals & guitars)

The Labeque sisters often go their own individual ways on recording projects, and for this one Katia – who has the stronger pop/rock connections – has put together a crossover album that achieves a very wide appeal without getting kitschy or compromising as so many crossover albums do. This dozen-track effort reminds me a bit of Joshua Bell’s current CD with many different friends from the pop world invited in to perform with him.

She leads off with two tunes written by Sting and sung by him, with Katia at the piano. Then she joins first Chick Corea and then Herbie Hancock for a couple fine two-piano improvisations on standards – the second running over 11 minutes. Two classical selections and one soundtrack theme are part of the mix: piano pieces by Chopin and Satie, as well as Meditation from Bernard Herrmann’s music for Wuthering Heights.  Other highlights include Katia’s blazing two-piano excursion with the great Gonzalo Rubalcaba on Besame Mucho, and her own Katia Labeque Band in Radiohead’s Exit Music – which interestingly is not the closing selection but in the middle of the CD. The inside of the three-fold cardboard jacket features a center-spread shot of Katie in a sexy navel-baring pose.

TrackList:  Moon Over Bourbon Street, Shape of My Heart, We Will Meet Again, My Funny Valentine, CHOPIN: Prelude No. 4 in E minor, Exit Music, Notes to the Future, Because, Besame Mucho, SATIE: Gnossienne No. 3, Purple Diamond, HERRMANN: Meditation.

 - John Sunier




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