All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Jennifer Leitham & Jimmy Bruno: Two For the Road

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Recorded in 1999, Two for the Road features two of the most effective string jazz artists on the planet. As they remind us here, Jennifer Leitham and Jimmy Bruno share a love for the powerful release of expression through music. The blues comes through it. And yet both demonstrate superior technical proficiency on their instruments.

The session begins with reminiscences of Mingus. Cool and comfortable, the duo interprets "Nostalgia in Times Square with a swinging texture that emphasizes its melody. Both artists converse over the tune's chord structure and stretch out individually with a driving demeanor. From walking bass and singing strings to trading fours, they capture the mood accurately.

Jumpin' at the Woodside burns hot and fast as bass and guitar hang this one out to dry. Like the wind blowing through on a rainy day, this piece lets them capture all the excitement in fast and furious bunches. While every note comes through in rapid-fire progression, the edges are rounded so that we're able to feel the soft touch from both bass and guitar.

Leitham's nine-year tenure with Mel Tormé may be partly responsible for the smooth texture of her play, but it seems as if she's always held a high regard for lyrical beauty in her performances. Her solo bass performance of "Out of This World contains double stops and graceful slides that allow the melody to linger. Following that, Tormé's "Born to be Blue ushers in bent notes and seamless phrases that give the duo's performance a vocal-like texture.

Bruno's clear articulation allows him to deliver blindingly fast arpeggios and blistering single-note runs that make the sparks fly. As he and Leitham trade "Ornithology with fingers flying, you can feel the heat wave moving through. Alone Together comes with a lovely samba framework that allows both artists to create a casual mood. "Three in One includes a section where Leitham walks the bass while Bruno tears up the strings with spirits soaring. "Bernie's Tune is presented extraordinarily fast; however, not one note is left behind.

"Isn't it Romantic changes the pace in an exceptionally beautiful affair that features Leitham's delicate bowed melody. Together, the two string jazz artists make this piece weep and cry. The intro to Henry Mancini's "Two for the Road also features Leitham's arco delivery. A classical guitar landscape surrounds the piece with pearly tones that ring true as both bass and guitar explore the lyrical nature of its theme. Through their interpretation of up-tempo burners and slow, romantic melodies, Leitham and Bruno have created a heartfelt session that comes highly recommended.

Track Listing: Nostalgia in Times Square; Manege; Jumpin

Personnel: Jennifer Leitham: bass; Jimmy Bruno: guitar.

Title: Two For the Road | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Azica Records


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Mood (S)wings

Mood (S)wings

Sinistral Records

Future Christmas

Future Christmas

Sinistral Records



Point of Departure, WMPG-FM

The Real Me Live

The Real Me Live

Sinistral Records

Left Coast Story

Left Coast Story

Sinistral Records

Two For the Road

Two For the Road

Azica Records


Related Articles

Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read All Melody CD/LP/Track Review
All Melody
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 23, 2018
Read The Future is Female CD/LP/Track Review
The Future is Female
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Hunters & Scavengers CD/LP/Track Review
Hunters & Scavengers
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read "Pulse/Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "Octet Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Octet Vol. 2
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 29, 2017
Read "The Subject Tonight Is Love" CD/LP/Track Review The Subject Tonight Is Love
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 25, 2018
Read "The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow" CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 3, 2017
Read "Sing House" CD/LP/Track Review Sing House
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 11, 2017
Read "Luisa" CD/LP/Track Review Luisa
by Doug Collette
Published: July 1, 2017