In classical music, this would be termed a trombone recital. Wycliffe Gordon, arguable the finest trombonist practicing, joins uber-pianist Eric Reed for an assembly of standards, originals and spirituals. The duet is pentultimately the most spare of formats to play within. This spareness is relieved to a degree by Reed's pungently orchestral approach to the piano. I cite his playing on "The Lord's Prayer," "Precious Lord Take My Hand," and "He Looked Beyond My Fault," where he creates a tsunami of sound welling beneath Gordon's low brass. Gordon even sings (even admirably) on his original "Toast My Bread."
What does this bit of stream-of-consciousness mean? Frank Nagel-Heyer affords Gordon and Reed a very broad latitude in what type of recording they put together. It is one of the hallmarks of this label as the same courtesy is offered all leaders. We is a recording full of risk taking: the acceptance of a piano/trombone duet; the heavy reliance on spirituals, the almost campy vocals. It all works, due largely to the supreme musicianship of Gordon and Reed.
The Lord's Prayer; Paris Blues; This Rhythm On My Mind; Embraceable You; Precious Lord Take My Hand; Lament; Toast My Bread; He Looked Beyond My Fault; He Cares. (Total Time: 55:15).
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