Saxophonist Fred Haas and guitarist Gene Bertoncini have recorded a high wire act of a duet CD entitled Interplay
. This is intimate music that leaves these two players out front with only their own resources and each other to depend on. They succeed, wonderfully.
It is a musical lesson to listen to Bertoncini play behind Haas’s solos. The variety of his approaches is a good start on a history of jazz guitar accompaniment. In addition, Bertoncini’s crystalline classical touch is a striking foil for the tenor, especially when intertwining with Haas’s impressive solos on “Embraceable You” and “Broadway.” Fred Haas is a much underrated saxophonist with a deft command of phrasing and solo conception. He is a thoughtful player whose bluesy/swing sound has gracefully absorbed a wide range of influences into the modern era.
The dialog between these two musicians is a reminder that Bertoncini has previously excelled in a duet context. Anyone who has heard his duets with the bassist Michael Moore will not be surprised by his performance on this disc. Haas has also previously recorded in a duet context on a fine disc with pianist Bob Hallahan. In short, Interplay pairs one of the best jazz guitarists of our time with a very talented saxophonist resulting in a highly recommended CD. Haas and Bertoncini, perhaps these two musicians will record together again.
Personnel: Fred Haas: saxophone; Gene Bertoncini: guitar.