Release Date: Mar 19, 2013
Record label: Sony Classical
Genre(s): Classical, Americana, Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Classical Crossover, Chamber Music, Keyboard
This is an unusual album on a lot of levels, born of the unlikely pairing of North Carolina folksinger and songwriter Tift Merritt (whose father taught her to play by ear) and Brooklyn classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein (Juilliard-trained), and given that it's a song cycle or symphony of sorts dedicated to night, and the deepest part of night at that, it would seem to be the perfect recipe for dreary pretension and artful pontifications. Well, Night isn't that, and it isn't exactly a folk album, either, or a classical one, but actually approaches a kind of sparse, airy pop, supported by only Dinnerstein's piano and Merritt's vocals, acoustic guitar, and harmonica. It definitely has a late-night feel, and it would almost be some kind of heresy to play this album on a bright, shiny day, unless it was right before the dawn of it.
There was a time during the sixties when progressive rockers mixed all sorts of different musical styles together. Some of the earliest of these experiments connected classical music to rock and roll to create art rock, such as the Moody Blues’s Days of Future Passed. Several of the best works combined a female voice with classical themes and instrumentation, such as Judy Collins’s Wildflowers and In My Life.