The UK's String Jazz label continues to feed the appetites of lovers of the jazz guitar with another outstanding release. This album is the second meeting on CD between veteran US guitarist John Pisano and England's Adrian Ingram. The outcome is more than an hour of guitar duets, with Pisano coming from the left speaker and Ingram the right, as they pay tribute to their guitar playing forebears. During this session, each takes a turn playing rhythm and lead exchanging their views on each of the tracks - - it's like eavesdropping on a calm, intelligent conversation between two close friends. Pisano's resume reads like a Who's Who of jazz given those with whom he has played over his long years on the scene. Especially notable is his work with Joe Pass. In addition to being a performer, Ingram has written a well-received biography of Wes Montgomery.
The session follows in the tradition of great guitar duos of the past, Herb Ellis and Freddie Green, George Barnes and Carl Kress and Kenny Burrell and Jimmy Raney and so on. There are five compositions by the players, either by themselves or together. "Billy Bean Blues" is the guitarists' tribute to the legendary, but enigmatic, West Coast guitarist. There's special meaning here for Pisano who recorded with Bean back in the late 1950's. And yes, they have been reissued by String Jazz. Also on the honors list are the classical leaning Johnny Smith "Softly as in the Morning Sunrise", George Benson "Love for Sale", Laurindo Almeida "Amanhecir" and of course Django Reinhardt with his "Belleville". But paying homage is by no means synonymous with imitation. These two pay tribute in a much more meaningful way, by offering distinctive interpretations of the material. The wordless vocalizing on "Blues for Joe" is provided by John's vocalist wife, Jeanne.
Another winner for String Jazz and recommended.
Personnel: John Pisano, Adrian Ingram - Guitar; Phil France - Bass; Jeanne Pisano - Vocals*