Keeping it Simple”, is an eclectic blend of jazz standards, popular and originals, brilliantly executed with—simply—voice and guitar. This thoughtful collaboration with guitarist, Adam Levine, showcases Judy Philbin’s articulate and expressive vocals alongside Levine’s masterful rhythmic and improvisational talents. Featuring the styles of Django Reinhart to Hoagy Carmichael, the listener will sometimes hear one guitar track, sometimes two, sometimes three or four, as Levine adeptly creates an orchestra with just six strings. Woven throughout, Philbin delivers each song with the skill of a lyric storyteller. Her pure, clear tone has been called uplifting, healing, and evocative.
This CD is an exploration of what can be done with just two instruments--voice and guitar. At times the two were tempted to add other instruments, however they chose to stay true to the concept of a duo project, with exciting results. The layered guitar tracks demonstrate Levine’s skills as an arranger. He creates a full band on which the voice has freedom to deliver the lyrics with both delicacy and energy. It is the talented collaboration of these two particular artists that makes the duo concept work so well.
Philbin is a sought-after performer throughout her Central California coast. Her previous album, “Candle in the Window” has brought her invitations to perform as far away as Dublin, Ireland. After years of classical training Philbin says she enjoys in the emotional freedom of jazz. Although she has studied piano, guitar and trumpet, she admits that voice has always been her true instrument. “It’s incredibly personal; it’s about moving the listener’s heart an inch, a mile, or sometimes light-years into another dimension.” Her influences have global roots, begun while living in Guatemala as a child, and in Denmark as an adult.
Growing up in the suburbs of Baltimore, Levine was enthralled with the Rhythm & Blues sounds of urban city radio. At age 11 he got an electric guitar and formed a band two weeks later. When he was introduced to the music of Brazil it sparked a curiosity for music from other parts of the world that has remained with him to this day. He has studied at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, at Aspen Music School in Colorado and privately with Joe Pass and Ted Greene. Levine has done session work with artists on Capitol, Warner Brothers, and Motown Records. His extensive teaching experience includes the Grove School of Music, Musician’s Institute and National Guitar Workshops.