The Lusty Month of May

Anne Burnell and Mark Burnell

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Anne Burnell, vocals,Mark Burnell, piano, vocals, Joshua Ramos, bass, Jim Widlowski, drums and percussion, Pat Mallinger, sax, mix by Erik J. Martin, SoundAnswer, Recorded at Soundmine Studios by Dennis Tousana, Mastering by Harry Brotman, Sonic Bistro, arrangement by Anne & Mark Burnell, written by Lerner & Loewe.

The inspiration for this

Anne Burnell, vocals, Mark Burnell, piano, vocals, Joshua Ramos, bass, Jim Widlowski, drums and percussion, Pat Mallinger, sax, mix by Erik J. Martin, SoundAnswer, Recorded at Soundmine Studios by Dennis Tousana, Mastering by Harry Brotman, Sonic Bistro, arrangement by Anne & Mark Burnell, written by Lerner & Loewe.

The inspiration for this arrangement was to take the listener on a fun journey to a New Orleans second line celebration of spring and all things lusty and gay. “We are both LGBTQ allies and sing the lyric ‘It’s mad, it’s gay’ with glee, especially in the current environment — we say gay, loudly and proudly, love is love”, chimes Anne. Mark adds some humorous musical quotes near the end to drive the frivolity of the song home. This recording continues their inventive style that Jazz Weekly calls “keeps it fun and funky” while praising their “clever interpretations”.

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Mark Burnell is a Chicago-based jazz pianist, vocal coach, and minister of music for Gorham United Methodist Church. Mark received two Black Methodist Church Renewal Laity awards (2019 and 2023) and Gorham named him “Man of the Year" (2006). 

Mark’s overseas tours have taken him to Bern, Zurich, Paris, Geneva, Lausanne, Freiburg, St. Croix, Panama, and Amsterdam, where he played for Boom Chicago. In 2009 and 2010, he was an instructor at the International Cabaret Conference at Yale. Mark also taught jazz at Northwestern and Roosevelt Universities, and trained vocalists for 10 years at Carnegie Mellon University, where he received his MFA and BFA, and also directed the CMU Jazz Choir.

Recordings include “Two for the Road” (2022) with airplay on 100 jazz stations, “Christmas Piano”(2006), “Aquacadence”(2006), “Little Things We Do Together” (2000), “Blues in the Night”(2004), and “Summer Days and Dreamy Nights”(2014). 

Gospel Piano is out on all streaming platforms Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Pandora, and Tidal.

A portion of proceeds to benefit Gorham United Methodist Church, Chicago

“Your ride has arrived, and it’s right on time… With her timbre of clarified honey, containing a hint of clove, Anne can shape her voice around a gaggle of genres: jazz, blues, pop…handling each with a mix of intimacy and strength. As a pianist and arranger, Mark also covers a range of styles and contexts, no surprise when you learn he taught music at Carnegie-Mellon for ten years (after obtaining two degrees there).”  
                                                                                                                                            - NEIL TESSER

"Two for the Road" is a perfect mix in every respect. Anne and Mark Burnell's voices blend beautifully, the balance of new and classic songs is just right and the arrangements are original in sometimes unexpected ways. The shifting meter in "Baubles Bangles and Beads" is one example...:Two for the Road" surprises and delights"

- CHUCK LAVAZZI, Senior Performing Arts Critic, KDHX, St Louis