John Fordham – The Guardian ***

If jazz is a niche taste, then the piano/bass duo playing in the ballpark of the keyboard genius Bill Evans is a niche within a niche. But pairing pianist Barry Green and bassist Dave Green (they are not related) gives this subtle format the full attentions of two of the best mainstream-to-bop musicians on the UK scene. They are technically accomplished, inventive performers whose playing skills are matched by their abilities to listen and respond in a blink. Though there are some bright swingers, cruising on Dave Green’s immaculate walking lines, much of the music is swooningly slow, and the songs of composer Alec Wilder (a favourite with Sinatra, Peggy Lee and many others) are represented on almost half the tracks. Wilder’s haunting I’ll Be Around (cushioned by the pianist’s cinematically evocative chords) opens the set. Billy Strayhorn’s Johnny Come Lately and Wilder’s Unbelievable are sashaying swingers full of piano motifs moving seamlessly in and out of chords. The pulsing bass harmonics and water-droplet piano touches on a brief visit to Ornette Coleman’s All My Life, however, hint at a less orthodox approach that might have been more widely deployed.

Share This