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.
Track Listing: Tangerine; Like Someone In Love; Samantha’s Blues; Estate; I Can’t Give You Anything But Love; Embraceable You; Once I Loved; Broadway; Autumn.
Personnel: Fred Haas: saxophone; Gene Bertoncini: guitar.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.