Album Title: Shape of my Heart
Performers: Katia Labèque (piano)
Label: KML
Running time: 54'41"
Recorded: Italy - 2009

In recent years, Katia Labèque traversed the music scene by offering an integral vision from classical to jazz and pop. This album is the latest result of her insatiable curiosity and places the pianist inside a beautiful suite of duets with Sting, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and David Chalmin. A program which combines Erik Satie, Radiohead and Bill Evans with three giants of the jazz piano is obviously thrilling. The duets with the three pianists represent an interesting balance between Labèque's sensitive precision and a more relaxed improvisational style.

Even if the three lions of Jazz play different, Labèque remains on their opposite sides. Corea falls easily in love and his Spanish roots and natural courtesy contribute to a sideman attitude of utmost clarity and delicacy. Rubalcaba is the most turbulent partner in "Besame Mucho" and Hancock, as always, is a model of balance standing in the middle of very classical interpretation of "My Funny Valentine".

Sting delivers a fine performance but I would have preferred less rigidity in the very assertive lyricism of his voice. But that time has definitely passed and the ex Police leader now prefers to adopt an overly theatrical attitude. Nevertheless Labèque seems to perfectly understand how Sting will react to the repertoire and the final result is true joy.

Part of the mix are two classical selections and one soundtrack theme—Chopin and Satie as well as "Meditation" from Bernard Herrmann’s music to Wuthering Heights—nothing exceptional but Labèque plays it easy without any particular risks but no particular weakness either. Technique and recording quality of recording are quite fine and most audiophiles will love the depth and upfront sound of the Steinway Hamburg model D. But at the end of these twelve tracks, I had the feeling that I'd listened to a party-mix album, undoubtedly one of high quality but nevertheless over-marketed. And I still retain the open question - who really is Katia Labèque?