It was deep winter. A furious blizzardy day in Toronto when Jackie Richardson came up to the studio to cut the vocal for "New York Story". But the warmth of Jackie's voice would melt a polar ice cap and you can hear it in every note of the duet version of the title track from "New York Stories". A word about my duet partner. I have learned much about living in the emotional life of a song through our work together, Jackie being such a generous artist, with her audience, with musicians and with her fellow performers. There is a deeper truth to this lady's art and I couldn't think of a more perfect singer to bring this song to life as a duet!
The lyrics of "New York Story" which serve as the introduction to all the stories on the album, finds the lovers on a romantic stroll through Central Park, has them enjoying a late night meal and talking until dawn before cozying up together for the night and asking the question "Who knows where this New York Story ends?" The listener knows the relationship is new and full of possibility but that the question lingers in the air. Indeed that is the question and the struggle that we follow through the whole album as the love story is played out in the "city that doesn't sleep".
The band, consisting of Michael Shand on Keys, Daniel Barnes on Drums and Russ Boswell on Bass, had already laid down the tune and engineer John Beetle Bailey had actually changed the key for us so that it better suited Jackie's range. Best of all by the time we cut the duet vocal, Jackie and I had already sung the song on stage together and had a chance to work out the romantic dynamic of the story. So the romantic story felt very "lived in" and alive to us, much like the rest of the "New York Stories" material, all of which had been performed live for months before we ever recorded them in the studio.