Sunday, January 9, 2011

In The Zone

Two men taking all the time in the world stating and then ruminating on a tune they obviously both love. No tempo changes, no technical flash, practically no movement outside the mid-range. Just letting the gorgeous melody say what it has to say and then etching variations that humbly attempt to meet that beauty at least half way.
The mood is so difficult to pin down. Not a hint of overt sentimentality or self pity. Yet catching the rueful melancholy of Richard Rodger's melody as if they co-composed it themselves. Maybe it's the reverence that Baker and Bley hold for Rodgers that most permeates this performance. Or the respect they held for each other as fellow musicians.Here everyone wins: composer, soloist and accompanist. If understatement gives you chills, this one's a spine tingler.

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