Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Kenny Wheeler & John Taylor - On the way to two (2015)

Source & Label: Cam Jazz

A prized recording by Kenny Wheeler and John Taylor has been released from CAM JAZZ’s archives. The Canadian trumpeter, who died last year in September, had a long-standing recording activity on the Roman label, sharing this journey with Taylor very often. “On The Way To Two”, a new, prized duet album, was recorded in 2005 featuring 10 songs over a total 45 minutes of stunning music. Complex themes alternate with short improvised passages, as proof of that natural, special feeling that bound the two musicians. Sadly and unfortunately, while the album was being pressed, John Taylor suddenly passed away.  Before Taylor leaves us, he writes in the liner notes to this album, as a virtual remark to Wheeler:  “It was a privilege and joy to play with you for most of my life, and I wish you were here now to listen to this music again with me”.  The opening track is “Canter #2”, the second episode of a mantra featuring many of the two musicians’ albums (try finding the different “Canter” interpretations in the other Wheeler and Taylor albums). Following this is a superb “Fedora”, with the trumpet and piano intertwining as naturally as only two musicians so close to each other could do. “Sketch No. 1” is the first of three moments of sheer improvisation that emerge between tracks, during which Taylor and Wheeler pursue new expressive nuances of their instruments. And then “Who Knows?”, “Fortune's Child” and “A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing” show and celebrate the empathy that the two musicians have managed to build and develop over the years.

1  Canter
2  Fedora
3  Sketch 1
4  Quiso
5  Who Knows?
6  Sketch 2
7  Close to Mars
8  Fortune's Child
9  Sketch 3
10 A Flower is a Lovesome Thing

Kenny Wheeler - trumpet & flügelhorn
John Taylor - piano