Bill Anschell / Brent Jensen: We Couldn't Agree More (2009)

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Bill Anschell / Brent Jensen: We Couldn't Agree More
By definition, the classical or jazz duo is the most intimate performance format. Intimacy requires two parties sharing with a base empathy. An example is Eddie Daniels
Eddie Daniels
Eddie Daniels
b.1941
clarinet
and Roger Kellaway
Roger Kellaway
Roger Kellaway
b.1939
piano
's A Duet of One (2008, IPO), where the two principles shared a great love for the mainstream and its sensitive presentation.

Enter west coasters, pianist Bill Anschell

Bill Anschell
Bill Anschell
b.1959
piano
and soprano saxophonist Brent Jensen
Brent Jensen
Brent Jensen
b.1960
sax, soprano
, with We Couldn't Agree More. This instrument combination instantly recalls the Steve Lacy
Steve Lacy
Steve Lacy
1934 - 2004
sax, soprano
and Mal Waldron
Mal Waldron
Mal Waldron
1926 - 2002
piano
recordings of the late 1980s and early '90s. However, Anschell and Jensen's respective visions are woven into a 21st Century digital sheen that accentuates the sharp corners of their performance.

Kicking off the recital of two originals and nine standards is a Bach-on-Ecstasy "I'm Old Fashioned." Anschell and Jensen did a Kind Of Blue (Columbia, 1959), entering the studio with a list of songs and little else, just a brief outline. That type of spontaneity gives rise to such sideways performances as "I'm Old Fashioned" and later, "You and the Night and the Music," where Anschell tears it up with an exposition of 100 years of jazz piano.

The two takes of Miles Davis

Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
' "Solar" are a nice introduction to both conceptions of improvisation and arrangement, illustrating the wealth of direction any composition can go in jazz. Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
's "Ask Me Now" definitely summons the spirits of Lacy and Waldron. Jensen, who is best known for his alto saxophone work, divines a beautifully dry tone from the soprano, anointing this Monk tune with an arid climate and crepuscular aire.

The jazz duet is alive and well with Anschell and Jensen. This is a most pleasant example of the power of jazz when played in close places.

Visit Bill Anschell and Brent Jensen on the web.

Track Listing: I'm Old Fashioned; Solar; The People Versus Miss Jones; You the Night and the Music; What is This Thing Called Love?; You Aren't All That; Ask Me Now; Beautiful Love; Just Friends; Solar (alternate take); On the Sunny Side of the Street.

Personnel: Bill Anschell: piano; Brent Jensen: soprano saxophone.

Record Label: Origin Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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