Please Leave Your Light On by Paul Kelly & Paul Grabowsky
In these extremely strange and challenging times, it’s nice sometimes to be able to fall back on some old favourites to help us through. And they don’t come any more familiar than the Pauls: Kelly & Grabowsky. The latter is Australian jazz royalty, probably our finest jazz pianist, and has been a leader in jazz circles for over thirty years. Kelly is, of course, a living Australian treasure, long regarded our best singer–songwriter, he has never been afraid to step away from the familiar and head down new avenues.
Please Leave Your Light On’s genesis was a project Paul Grabowsky was curating for UKARIA Cultural Centre in Mt Barker, South Australia, whereby he was working in a duo setting with various singers. After collaborating on this project, Grabowsky and Kelly both felt what they were working on had further potential and wanted to record it. Working with Paul’s extensive catalogue, Grabowsky adapted selected pieces for piano or voice, and, for example, adding a version of Cole Porter’s ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye’ to one cover.
I think the choice of songs was, wisely, more about their suitability for this project, rather than simply playing the hits. The results are both sublime and welcome. Kelly has long been happy to look outside his normal singer–songwriter territory and has found a wonderful musical partner in Grabowsky, whose interpretations give new life to these works, ‘finding things in them I [Kelly] didn’t know were there’. Two tracks of particular note for their beauty are ‘If I could Start Again Today’ and ‘Please Leave Your Light On’.