All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

190

John Law / Mark Pringle: This is

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
Traditionally, the art of the piano duo has been linked to classical music, and almost every significant classical composer, from Mozart to Maurice Ravel, has written music for two pianos. In jazz, however, this particular medium is somewhat rare, and although Bill Evans recorded Further Conversations with Myself (PolyGram, 1967), where he overdubbed himself on piano, decidedly pure piano duos in jazz have been scarce, with An Evening with Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea: In Concert (Columbia, 1978) being one of the more well-known highlights of the idiom.

Recently, however, with genres being dissolved and more and more classical pianists turning to jazz and vice versa, there has been a new blossoming of piano duos linked to jazz. Brad Mehldau's and Kevin Hays' Modern Music (Nonesuch, 2011) and Chick Corea's and Stefano Bollani's Orvieto (ECM, 2011) are only two of the most prominent examples of the newfound interest in the art form, but one of the strongest efforts comes from the partnership of British pianist John Law and his former student, Mark Pringle, with their album—simply titled This is—taking an encyclopedic journey through the rhythms and textures of their instruments.

It all begins with a bold reading of the third movement of J.S Bach's "Concerto for 2 Harpsichords in C." Here, the two pianists make each note stand crystal clear, while lines sing in fugal harmony, balancing rhythm, tempo and melody in a perfect manner.

From the virtuosity and polyphonic joy of Bach, the geographical location shifts from Germany to Brazil and the sun-baked joie de vivre of Lyle Mays' "Chorinho," whose dancing rhythms twirl around with breathtaking elegance. In this dance, Law and Pringle never step on each other's toes, but manage to retain both intimacy and space among the unfolding notes.

While a broad scope of musical tradition is embraced on the album, with tunes covering everything from J.S. Bach to Cole Porter, the real highlights of the album are the originals. Among them, the title tunes—Pringle's "This"; and Law's "Is"—are especially fascinating, both combining the vocabularies of jazz and classical in a singular and seamless way, coalescing improvisational surprise and a deep elegiac musicality that pays attention to every detail of their instruments' sound.

This is ends up being quite an apt description; this music could only be played by John Law and Mark Pringle.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
After Carnival

After Carnival

CDM Records
2012

buy
Live at Vision Festival

Live at Vision...

Re: Konstrukt
2012

buy
So Oder So

So Oder So

Self Produced
2012

buy
To My Surprise

To My Surprise

Consolidated Artists Productions
2012

buy
Leap In The Dark

Leap In The Dark

Intuition
2012

buy
Into The Open

Into The Open

Your Favourite Jazz
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Always Forward CD/LP/Track Review
Always Forward
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 15, 2018
Read The Music of Richard Whiting CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Richard Whiting
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Barefoot Dances and Other Visions CD/LP/Track Review
Barefoot Dances and Other Visions
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor CD/LP/Track Review
Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker CD/LP/Track Review
Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 15, 2018
Read The Gene Krupa Quartet: Live 1966! CD/LP/Track Review
The Gene Krupa Quartet: Live 1966!
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: November 15, 2018
Read "After The Fall" CD/LP/Track Review After The Fall
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 13, 2018
Read "Live At Montmartre" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Montmartre
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 7, 2018
Read "Colours Of Your Love: Wild Silk Strings Project" CD/LP/Track Review Colours Of Your Love: Wild Silk Strings Project
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 6, 2018
Read "Ship" CD/LP/Track Review Ship
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 8, 2018
Read "Deuce" CD/LP/Track Review Deuce
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 8, 2018
Read "Solo" CD/LP/Track Review Solo
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 13, 2018