Low Standards

Steve Shapiro & Pat Bergeson


Low Standards is a laid-back, retro jazz recording from the modern sensibilities of Steve Shapiro (Steely Dan) and Pat Bergeson (Lyle Lovett). Complimenting the vibraphone and guitar work of the leaders, Low Standards features Nashville vocal sensation Annie Sellick.

Lounge or cocktail jazz without studio or remix trickery, standard repertoire is blended with original compositions arranged for a contemporary vibe (pun intended).


1 How Deep Is The Ocean? (04:48)
2 End Of The Road (07:04)
3 You Don't Know What Love Is (05:56)
4 Four On Six (07:20)
5 Love Killing Lies (04:55)
6 Reflections In D (07:50)
7 The Days Of Wine & Roses (04:16)
8 Please Be Early (07:20)
9 Everything Happens To Me (04:16)
10 My Opening Farewell (04:50)
11 Small Miracles (04:)
12 When You Gotta (00:25)


Steve SHAPIRO, vibraphone
Pat BERGESON, guitar & harmonica
Annie SELLICK, vocal

Doug WEISS, bass
Jeff WILLIAMS, drums
Scott KREITZER, tenor saxophone


This is a recording we talked about doing for a while. We both felt it was time to get together a relaxed session of standards, with some originals that keep it simple and listenable. Equally important was to reconnect with some great musicians of our own "generation" — each of whom could lend their own distinctive voice to the group. Thanks for listening.

— Steve & Pat


"Ms. Sellick has a fluidly rhythmic conception and a sinuous delivery free of affectation. Her soprano instrument has a pleasingly husky bottom which she uses to good effect in interpreting lyrics. She follows Doug Weiss’ bass into the “Ocean” and easily convinces that she knows all too well the depth of Irving Berlin’s rhetorical question. Her “You Don’t” and “Days of Wine” are good, too, but she really nails “Happens,” opening a cappella and conveying a certain weary resignation about going through life “just missing trains and catching colds.” … [Kreitzer's] best moments—and the strongest instrumental Jazz moments of the session— arrive with Wes Montgomery’s “Four On Six” line, when everyone seems to dig in and put out."
— Cadence, December 2005

[three stars] "…it's the arresting, quirky singer — Annie Sellick's catchy, smart-as-a-fox alto — that steals the show…. On Low Standards, Bergeson and vibist Steve Shapiro lead their low-key band through Latinized classics and lush, leisurely originals with lucid grace…. When they back Sellick on shorter alternating tracks, they ease into overdrive for her insinuating smears and hints of Diana Krall and savvy Carmen McRae snap."
— DownBeat, October 2005

"…very fine mixed set of standards and originals… smolderingly sexy singer Annie Sellick). There's something pleasingly retro about this group's sound -- there's nothing loungey about them, but something will make you think of cocktails anyway. Recommended."
— CD Hotlist, June 2005

"This is unpretentious, straightahead combo swing. Shapiro sculpts his solos well… his frequent four-mallet comping doesn't go unappreciated, and neither does the firm, melodic walking of bassist Doug Weiss. Bergeson shines… Perky vocalist Annie Sellick, an original with her own way of phrasing that allows her tongue-in-cheek personality to emerge…. Shapiro's sharp, but keep your ears on Annie."
— JazzTimes, June 2005

"…the music travels a well-described path made all the more definitive by the musicians and the arrangements. …Sellick has a supple, pliant expression and Kreitzer has the ability to dig deep and come up with some impassioned permutations. …there is a mellow air that wafts across nicely enough, there is a stronger wind that carries the moment…. Shapiro adds the glow which Bergeson carries with a buoyant crispness.… Sellick infers a poignant sadness. And she has a way with standards, never decrying from their innate sensitivity."
— All About Jazz, May 2005

"... puts you right in th' mood… It's not just the great recording/production on the album that will make it a (real) KEEPER, it's also the fact that all the players understand how important it is to have "the groove" together!…"End Of The Road" would have served ever so well as the theme for "Twin Peaks"! A really GREAT jazz album that gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us."
— Improvijazzation Nation, April 2005