Bassist Dan Dean is no stranger to the format of the intimate duo. His teaming with vibraphonist Tom Collier on the superb and aptly titled Duets (Origin Records, 2005) was a bright sparkling gem of a recording. On 2 5 1 he goes for a broader exploration of that sound, pairing up with four of his favorite keyboard players.
The generous set, coming in at nearly eighty minutes, opens with the tried and true American Songbook jewel, "S'Wonderful." Kenny Werner
on Hammond B3 organ, injecting some soul into the Bossa rhythms. The choice of Goldings is an inspired one. His B3 work on four tunes that are shuffled in with seven other piano workouts mixes up the sound and keeps the music interesting. The organist takes things down south on "Georgia on My Mind;" he also gets seriously soulful on James Brown
and Oscar Hammerstein's "All the Things You Are," opening in a spare, space-laden reverie until Dean and Goldstein borrow Charlie Parker's riff from his take on tune, cranking the sound into a bright and extroverted atmosphere.
thrown in. Duke displays a supple touch on "Stella By Starlight," injected with dazzling runs and a playful exuberance. Kenny Werner meditates on "Body and Soul" to close out the show. Dean's bass is just a whisper, a gentle heartbeat behind the pensive melody. It's perfect close to a wonderful set of duets.
Track Listing: S'Wonderful; One Note Samba; All the Things You Are; It's On; Dolphin Dance; Georgia On My Mind; Stella By Starlight; I Got You (I Feel Good); Lover Man; In Walked Bud; Body and Soul.
Personnel: Dan Dean: electric bass; George Duke: piano (4, 7); Larry Goldings: Hammond B3 Organ (2, 6, 8, 10); Gil Goldstein: piano and accordion (3, 9); Kenny Werner: piano (1, 5, 11).