This very inspired duoHarry on tenor, Ehud on pianotook the stage early on at Jazz at Chautauqua and left a deep impression. Although their play looks casual, they reach memorable heights whether they are handling the twists and turns of PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ like a pair of gliding skiers, or turning SOME OTHER SPRING into a rueful ode.
Some duos are an exhibition of two very ego-driven selves who happensometimes under duressto occupy the same space. Harry and Ehud listen seriously to each other, and their duo becomes more than the two men standing on a much larger stage. Ehud's spikiness plays off Harry's creamy tone; they complement rather than collide. A witty telepathy governs their interplay. Even the people trotting to and fro with full plates were grinning at what they were hearing.
For Mr. Berlin, Mr. Astaire, and Miss RogersISN'T IT A LOVELY DAY? Who could say anything but Yes"? Hear Harry's purring, yearning sound; admire Ehud's most sympathetic commentary: adding up to a lovely quiet seriousness with not one superfluous note:
Ehud loves James P. Johnson, and here the duo takes that lovely ballad IF IF COULD BE WITH YOU ONE HOUR TONIGHT (or ONE HOUR" for those in a hurry) at a surprising clipa young Bud Powell has entered the room. But there's a sterling precedent for this kind of audacity: think of Bill Basie and his little band riding high on SHOE SHINE BOY in 1936. Midway through the exultant performance, you'll have to remind yourself that this is a duo, not the Blue Note Jazzmen:
THE LITTLE THINGS THAT MEAN SO MUCH was the song Teddy Wilson used as the theme for his short-lived big band. And as Ehud says, it's so truenot only for this kind of heartfelt chamber jazz, where every nuance countsbut as a life-motto:
PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ is virtuosic but never exhibitionistic:
And, to close, a sweetly sad SOME OTHER SPRING, with memories of Lady Day:
Jazz, stripped down to its essential selves, with no distractions!
I love jazz because it is in my blood. It is the only original American art form. It is sacred. The greatest musicians are jazz artists.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 listening to my father's records of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young.
I met Sonny Stitt, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Michael Brecker, Cannonball Adderley, Walter Booker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, George Benson, Mike
Stern, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Harper, Skip Hadden, Charlie Haden.
The best show I ever attended was Joe Lovano with Soundprints at the Wexner Center in Columbus Ohio in 2014.
The first jazz record I bought was Miles Smiles.