Last we heard from the truly remarkable flute duo Steve Markoff & Patricia Lazzara, they had just released their highly-anticipated album Romances in Blue, a work that we found to be “a jaw-dropping collection of compositions backed by equally impressive performances.” Markoff & Lazzara – once again accompanied by the show-stopping piano skills of Grammy-nominated pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti – are back at the creative helm, this time with an ingenious cover of an iconic power ballad by Cutting Crew – (I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight.
Even the utterance of the name of this track brings ’80s synths and anthemic electric guitar riffs to mind. But as one might expect, Markoff & Lazzara have taken this song in a completely different direction – one that is softer, gentler, and altogether more emotional.
The piano introduces us to the track, and though the melody is immediately identifiable, it’s played with feeling and intent – gone are the angry, gritty hard rock tones that the original is known for. The alto flute enters gently on the verse melody, a solo effort until the chorus where Markoff & Lazzara come together in their archetypal flute harmony, with soaring soprano notes above the hook – which is remarkably and surprisingly well suited for this distinctive arrangement.
The main melody is a constant in this gossamer rendition, but as we progress we’re given tastes of the original instrumentation in small doses; sections of the primary guitar riffs, the bass line, and so on make their way into this reimagining of the piece. But it’s far from a carbon copy. There is plenty of individual flourish from both performers, their own styles taking a front seat at times and permeating the entire performance. It’s a textbook example of making a song your own without taking away from the original composition.
There appears to be no limit to the arrangement or performances skills of Steve Markoff & Patricia Lazzara. No matter the piece, the genre, the original intent – they are always capable of blending their signature style with the work at hand, bringing a welcome new perspective and plenty of top-tier musicianship – and this cover of (I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight is a preeminent example of that phenomenon. They’ve told us this is the first release from their new pop collection, and we’ll be waiting with bated breath on more inventive, bold reimaginings of iconic songs such as this in the near future.
BELOW: Listen to (I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support Steve Markoff & Patricia Lazzara by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
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