297

Trombone Duos: Jiggs Whigham/Wolfgang Kohler & Roswell Rudd/Mark Dresser

Ken Dryden By

Sign in to view read count
The trombone has entered a new era where it no longer has to be featured exclusively in a big band or a small group with a complete rhythm section. Virtuoso trombonists are perfectly happy with a single musical partner, as heard on these two outstanding, but very contrasting CDs.

Jiggs Whigham & Wolfgang Köhler
Two Too
Summit
2007

Most jazz fans are likely to have heard Jiggs Whigham in a small group or large ensemble, so listening to him in a duo setting proves to be an ear-opening experience. A long time resident of Europe (he maintains homes in Berlin, Bonn and also in New England), the veteran trombonist met pianist Wolfgang Köhler in Germany. Their session is mostly an intimate affair, with a heavy dose of familiar standards and a pair of time-tested jazz compositions. The ballad portion of the program emphasizes lyricism, with Whigham in the lead and sympathetic accompaniment by Köhler. Both musicians show off their chops in a driving bop arrangement of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "I Have Dreamed (From The King and I). Whigham's mellow interpretation of the late JJ Johnson's "Lament is a masterpiece, while Köhler shows off his stride piano technique with a playful solo rendition of Bix Beiderbecke's "In a Mist . Mainstream jazz fans will delight in this duo's explorations of old favorites.

Roswell Rudd & Mark Dresser
Air Walkers
Clean Feed
2006

Roswell Rudd's resumé is a long and storied one, including recordings with Steve Lacy, John Tchicai and Archie Shepp, along with over a dozen discs of his own. But this pioneer of trombone in avant-garde and free jazz is especially at home in this duo meeting with bassist Mark Dresser, who has a classical background, but left the symphony to work extensively as a leader and sideman on numerous avant-garde jazz dates. The songs are originals and improvisations, except for one miscredited standard, a loping, relatively straight ahead interpretation of Jimmy McHugh's "Don't Blame Me . The duo's musical journey takes them through a variety of influences from around the world, from the catchy Caribbean flavor of the boisterous, offbeat "Calypso Lite to the wild "Pregnant Pauses that has a bit of an Oriental air in spots and the humorous "Burst with Rudd's laugh-like mute work. But the obvious highlights are the two takes of the title track, in which both Rudd and Dresser are at their most expressive. Even those who normally shy away from experimental music will find these compelling performances to be very accessible.


Tracks and Personnel

Two Too

Tracks: We'll Be Together Again; The Days of Wine and Roses; Lulu's Back in Town; Lament; It Had To Be You; In a Mist; I Have Dreamed; I Concentrate on You; Come Rain or Come Shine.

Personnel: Jiggs Whigham: trombone; Wolfgang Köhler: piano.

Air Walkers

Tracks: Calypso Lite; Airwalkers (Take Two); Pregnant Pauses; Roz MD; Duality; Burst; Don't Blame Me; Lovers Waltz; Air Walkers (Take One).

Personnel: Roswell Rudd: trombone; Mark Dresser: bass.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio Multiple Reviews The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 12, 2017
Read Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read Roots In The Green Mountains Multiple Reviews Roots In The Green Mountains
by Doug Collette
Published: July 29, 2017
Read Green Mountain Jazz Multiple Reviews Green Mountain Jazz
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Guitars on Three Continents Multiple Reviews Guitars on Three Continents
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana Multiple Reviews Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana
by James Nadal
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Emanem Tidies Up" Multiple Reviews Emanem Tidies Up
by John Eyles
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Tim Motzer: Wandering the Depths of Space" Multiple Reviews Tim Motzer: Wandering the Depths of Space
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Mysteries Of The Deep and Binary from Brian (Shankar) Adler" Multiple Reviews Mysteries Of The Deep and Binary from Brian (Shankar) Adler
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…" Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Psalms and Poetry: Den Danske Salmeduo and Nicolai Munch-Hansen" Multiple Reviews Psalms and Poetry: Den Danske Salmeduo and Nicolai...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 2, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.