Bill McBirnie: Mercy (2010)
McBirnie is one of the best living jazz flautists in the world, while Botos is an award-winning pianist, and one of the strongest jazz piano players on the scene. Together they have produced a power-packed album that high lights their virtuosic talents. Technically stunning musicianship is offset by powerful emotions that combine grace and beauty, providing for a bountiful feast of audio delight.
The first two tracks are dedicated to Hubert Laws and Jeremy Steig: Laws' "Baila Cinderella," and Ann Ronell's "Willow Weep For Me," which Steig played on Flute Fever , his 1963 Columbia debut. Laws and Steig have set a high standard for jazz flute and, as McBirnie states, "These are the two musicians who have exerted the greatest influence on me."
The album is a mix of styles: a blend of swing, Latin, bebop and Dixieland. The predominant feel is bebop, with Latin overtones, a genre at which McBirnie excels, while Botos is a master of bop in all its idioms. The balladic duet, "Gentle Rain," with its hint of bossa nova, is a beautiful journey through an enchanted garden of piano and flute, with sumptuous tones that cascade in elegant splendor. Mercy concludes in slow rhapsody with Botos' elegant original, "Mercy."
Track Listing: Baila Cinderella; Willow Weep For Me; Airegin; Stuffy Turkey; Gentle Rain; I'm Walkin'; Yardbird Suite; Way Down Yonder In New Orleans; Moments Notice; Minha Saudade; Groovin' High; Mercy.
Personnel: Bill McBirnie: flute; Robi Botos: piano; Pat Collins: bass; John Sumner: drums.
Record Label: Self Produced