Reg Schwager & Don Thompson: Live At Mezzetta (2002)
This album came about by chance. Thompson and Schwager play often in the comfortable confines of Mezzetta in Toronto. One night Thompson carried his tape recorder with him and let it run. At the end there was an hour’s music on tape; eight standards that are reshaped with grace and a becoming air of intimacy. Years later, it was picked up by John Norris of Sackville Recordings. And for that, the recorded world of jazz is all the richer.
Schwager’s phrasing is impeccable. His well rounded notes, his open ended style that is free of clutter and rush, light a flame that kindles gently. This is best articulated on “In A Sentimental Mood” where he subtly shades the melody and then opens it with elegiac lines. Thompson is brimful of ideas at every turn when out on his own.
Schwager swings lightly on “How Deep Is The Ocean”, the joy in his playing delicately infectious. And when the bass man comes on, he jumps into the groove turning it over in passionate discourse.
In sum this is music that has been beautifully crafted into an enduring work of art.
Track Listing: Wonder Why; In A Sentimental Mood; How Deep Is The Ocean; Willow Weep For Me; You And The Night And The Music; Old Folks; Gone With The Wind; My Foolish Heart
Personnel: Reg Schwager
Record Label: Sackville