All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

6

Steve Slagle & Bill O'Connell: The Power Of Two

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
The initial impetus behind the creation of this recording was the passing of Kenny Drew Jr., an exceptional and underappreciated pianist who saxophonist Steve Slagle worked with, both in the Mingus Big Band and on one of his own leader dates—Reincarnation (SteepleChase, 1994). On the day his friend passed, Slagle penned "KD JR.," later sending it to Bill O'Connell, another of his piano-playing colleagues. That got the ball rolling for this, the first duo date in Slagle's discography.

Slagle and O'Connell have worked together on a number of O'Connell recordings in recent years—Rhapsody In Blue (Challenge Records, 2010), Zocalo (Savant, 2013), and Imagine (Savant, 2014)—but those recordings were all Latin Jazz-based. Here, while operating as a twosome, they avoid that area. Instead, they engage in dialogue that's grounded in earthy exhibitions, soulful moods, and implied—if not outright stated—swing of the low key variety. There's a breezy take on a Dave Brubeck classic ("The Duke"), an angular and slightly Monk-ish jaunt ("The Power Of Two"), an odd and unnerving miniature ("Whistling Spirits"), a pleasant stroll through an infrequently covered Miles Davis number ("Circle"), and, of course, Slagle's tribute to his dearly departed friend ("KD JR.").

While less experienced musicians often try to overcompensate and fill every space when working in exposed settings like this, Slagle and O'Connell don't have this problem. There's an extremely relaxed quality to this music, and it's that easygoing vibe that makes this such an attractive date. These two manage to create music that's uplifting ("A New Day"), reflective ("Into Your Grace"), and wholly inviting. While there are no displays of sheer strength to be found here, there's no denying the power of this pair.

Track Listing: Good News; One Life; Peri's Scope; I'll Wait And Pray; A New Day; KD JR.; The Power Of Two; The Duke; Circle; Into Your Grace; Whistling Spirits.

Personnel: Steve Slagle: alto saxophone, flute (3, 8, 11); Bill O'Connell: piano.

Title: The Power Of Two | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Panorama Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Holiday

Holiday

Steve Slagle
Alto Manhattan

CD/LP/Track Review
Book Reviews
Read more articles
Dedication

Dedication

Panorama Records
2017

buy
Alto Manhattan

Alto Manhattan

Panorama Records
2016

buy
The Power Of Two

The Power Of Two

Panorama Records
2015

buy
Evensong

Evensong

Panorama Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read 1538 CD/LP/Track Review
1538
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Love Wins CD/LP/Track Review
Love Wins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 19, 2018
Read 1538 CD/LP/Track Review
1538
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Mutt Slang CD/LP/Track Review
Mutt Slang
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Prisma CD/LP/Track Review
Prisma
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Jazz Tango CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Tango
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read "Ninety-Nine Years" CD/LP/Track Review Ninety-Nine Years
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 13, 2018
Read "Kurrent" CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 15, 2017
Read "Back Before Bach: Musical Journeys" CD/LP/Track Review Back Before Bach: Musical Journeys
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 31, 2017
Read "Let Your Light Shine On" CD/LP/Track Review Let Your Light Shine On
by Chris May
Published: May 27, 2018
Read "Lantern" CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "A Wing Dissolved In Light" CD/LP/Track Review A Wing Dissolved In Light
by John Sharpe
Published: July 29, 2017