Bassist Jeff Johnson's first recording for Seattle's Origin Records was 1999's Free. Saxophonist Hans Teuber was there, and he was there on Johnson's subsequent Origin outings: The Art Of Falling (2001), Near Earth (2004), and Suitcase (2011). It's a relationship that has made beautiful musicmysterious and oddly sacred sounds that exude a smooth-flowing timelessness. All of these were trio or quartet affairs. Now Teuber and Johnson take the ultimate test of compatibility, with their duo recording, Deuce
The pair's artistry has always displayed a free-roaming coolness. That doesn't change here. Half of the tune-smithing on the set is attributed to Teurber/Johnson, including the mystical opener, "When I'm In The Sky." These are introspective, gorgeous wanderers, floating around with no direction home. "Let's Pretend" begins with a bass drone, giving the music an eastern tinge."Hot Rod" has more momentum, but it's a ride that rolls just beneath the speed limit, on a steady cruise control, showcasing Heuber's always beautiful tone and Johnson's muscular backdrops.
The unusualfor a couple of "free" guyschoices in covers adds another layer to the element of surprise: a lugubrious take on bluesman Jimmy Reed's "Bright Lights, Big City," a levitating, slightly ramped-up rendition of the standard "What's New?" And Irving Berlin's "How Deep Is The Ocean," brings saxophonist Lee Konitz' elastic versions of this gem to mind; and the closer, "You've Changed," from the Great American Songbook, features Johnson's powerful yet-pensive bass solo and Teuber's deft and delicate touch with the melody, to close out yet another superb recording by the Teuber and Johnson teaming.
When I'm In The Sky; Bright Lights, Big City; Let's Pretend; What's New?; Rain Makes Applesauce; Hot Rod; How Deep Is The Ocean; Hopi Dream; Hummingbirds; You've Changed.
Hans Teuber: tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, alto flute; Jeff Johnson: bass.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.