The cool melodic elegance defining Steve Markoff and Patricia Lazzara’s “If I Could Reach Your Heart” is present from the first and never wavers. Their flute playing doesn’t exert an omnipresent influence on the track despite Lazzara and Markoff’s prominent billing. These are three musicians obviously much more concerned with creating a tapestry of musical effect rather than showing off their virtuosic inclinations, Despite the lack of any vocalist, Markoff and Lazzara structure the song in a recognizable way with peaks and lulls coming in all the right places and anyone who appreciates expert songcraft will respond positively to this performance. It has everything true music aficionados love and leaves a lasting impact on listeners.   

Perhaps the biggest reason for its lasting impact are the melodies laced through this track. Markoff and Lazzara didn’t write this track, but they clearly understand the melodic possibilities it offers a musician and make the most of them. Pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti provides melodic lines of her own via the keys, but the leading melodic instruments for the song are, without question, Lazzara’s flute playing and Markoff’s contributions on alto flute. They aren’t present with the song’s first note but, once they enter the track, they are restless, forever in motion, and conjure a musical spell you gladly fall under the sway of. 

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There’s something touching to me about this song to me. It never sounds like an outright love song but, instead, speaks of unrequited emotions rising to a near cinematic level. The graceful sway of the track’s movement, a notch or two below midtempo but never glacial, invokes longing and loneliness at every turn, but it’s never a downer. There’s too much lyrical beauty in the piece for the song to ever fall prey to such negative emotions. The humanity of the composition, however, is obvious from the first and one of its abiding qualities. 

It is surprisingly long for a track of its type, but the four and a half minutes never feels too long. I never felt like the track taxed my patience and, in fact, felt a little deflated it had finished the first time I heard the recording. It’s a track that, with its abundance of melodic ideas, plays like it could have went much longer. I had never heard Markoff and Lazzara’s work before this single but, having given “If I Could Reach Your Heart” more than a few listeners, I never note the lack of a singer and remain impressed each time by how the song wows listeners with its uncluttered strength. It is a song that connects with listeners and doesn’t let go. 

If this track is an indication of what waits for listeners on the remaining compositions of their new album Romances in Blue, listeners are in for a treat. Great instrumental music isn’t always to find, but Patricia Lazzara, Steve Markoff, and Allison Brewster Franzetti more than fill that gap with the single “If I Could Reach Your Heart”. It’s a song designed to inspire our hearts and we need music like that in days like these.

Michael Rand

The music of STEVE MARKOFF and PATRICIA LAZZARA has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division.  Learn more https://musikandfilm.com

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