Article Review

Will Clements Alvin Brendan Duets

Vocal-guitar jazz.

The Will Clements Alvin Brendan Duets EP released October 22, 2021, featuring vocals and guitar respectively from the two jazz musicians.

With this project, Clements and Brendan give you exactly what you’d hear when catching them live. I’ve heard them here in New West, from Piva Restaurant in 2019-2020 to events by the arts council.

The vocals are smooth. The guitar is clean and dry, with lots of movement up and down the harmony.

Listen to Will Clements Alvin Brendan Duets

The first duet is an uptempo run through “Almost Like Being in Love”. Brendan solos unaccompanied, with no one else in the rhythm section.

Then Clements kicks off “Doralice” with the same Getz/Gilberto lick that he used in this video he made as a vocal arranger:

This is Brendan’s second jazz guitar/voice project of 2021 — Autumn Nocturne with Amber Tsang came out in January. On Autumn Nocturne, there was the track “Li’l Darlin” — a Count Basie joint.

This time, the Basie track is “Shiny Stockings”. It’s a playful choice if you think about it, but it makes me want to hear that shout chorus and harmonized big-band melody again.

My favourite track is “Someone to Watch Over Me”, a song I’ve kept close for a decade-ish. Clements gives the song a velvet reading, especially with the luxurious verse that starts it.

“Day by Day”, a post-2020 standard in Vancouver jazz, ends things at the same tempo as the first track.

Those are the five tracks, but this video “Sambou Sambou” — though not on the album — is like a sixth track:

Clements’ first album The Boy Next Door, featuring a quartet and the influence of Chet Baker, is polished and pleasant. But he’s grown a lot in the past two years. On Duets, he stretches out and brings more of the fun you get from his live gigs.

Brendan is stellar when accompanying pretty much anybody. And Clements sings every dynamic like an arranger, knowing where he’s going and making everyone comfortable.

I enjoyed this chapter by two of the most active and fun young exponents of live Vancouver jazz!

Choose your streaming platform here and listen to Will Clements Alvin Brendan Duets.

By Will Chernoff

William Ross Chernoff—known as Will to friends and colleagues—is a jazz musician, podcaster, YouTuber, and writer. He records and performs under his own name, William Chernoff.