For saxophonist Tommy Smith, the stars of the title are the dozen or so standards that he and pianist Brian Kellock lovingly explore on this enchanting duet album.

Pensive readings of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust” and Glen Miller’s “Moonlight Serenade” promote a sense of gentle nocturnal joy, there’s a ballad medley, and Duke Ellington’s “Warm Valley” is a beautifully constructed highlight.

Smith states each theme clearly, a whisper of vibrato adding body to a round, airy tone, while Kellock avoids the fancy and keeps every note in place.

Tommy Smith & Brian Kellock

Whispering of the Stars

(Spartacus Records)

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