The Lifelike Quartet: Pretending You're Here With Me (2012)
This six-song EP looks back to a time when popular music had class and whimsy. Goldmacher and Evans bring back the idea of writers having a love affair with the theme of love in their work. "Pretending You're Here With Me" is a pondering on the possibility of love based around a single brief encounter, "Anyone But You" puts the mind and heart at slight odds with each other, and "Now And Again" is all about reviving the spark of romance that has vanished over time. They also address the simple beauty of a couple's time spent together ("Sunday Morning With You").
Goldmacher and Evans are the heart and mind of this project, but the mouthpiece of this music is vocalist Don Dixon, who takes a wonderfully casual and breezy approach with the material. Multi-reedist Jim Hoke is the other standout on this all-too-short project. He delivers succinct solos and mood-setting introductions, serves up clarinet obbligato when needed, brings buoyancy to "Anyone But You" with his flute, and turns up the heat with his saxophone work on "Don't Forget To Look."
This little gem of a recording won't turn the music world on its head, but it makes an argument for the importance of a holistic songwriting process that values lyrics, music and musicianship as equally important entities.
Track Listing: Pretending You're Here With Me; Anyone But You; Sunday Morning With You; Now And Again; Don't Forget To Look; If This Isn't Love.
Personnel: Don Dixon: vocals; Jim Hoke: flute, clarinet, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone; Larry Dunlap: piano; Dan Feiszli: bass; Alan Hall: drums (1-4, 6); David Rokeach: drums (5).
Record Label: Self Produced