by Paul Kogut


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In jazz, the guitar/bass duo can be a pleasant experience in cocktail lounges or small, intimate nightclubs. Chicago's Paul Kogut and Kelly Sill prove the format can be heard outside these realms, easily transferred to the concert hall, home entertainment unit, or car. The relaxed style of these musicians is complemented by their choice of material, a stack of well-known post-bop standards that linger as challenging melodic and harmonic vehicles for many players worldwide. Kogut's clean, fluid lines pay tribute to Bill Evans more than other string players, and echo the mastery of Jim Hall. Sill has long been one of the very best bassists in the Windy City, and does nothing to damage that deserved reputation. What these two men have selected to re-interpret is equally as important as the way they play them, and they seem to come in doubles. Chick Corea's bouncy, witty waltz "Windows" is done quite well, and the difficult "Tones for Jones Bones" turns into a looser interpretation. Wayne Shorter's "House of Jade" and "Nefertiti" vary from the norm in a pensive blues feel or darker hued infusion respectively. This feeling of extrapolation and jumping in without a strict plan is particularly noticeable in Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance" as Sill's silky toned bass intro sets the tone. That similar stance pervades the upbeat, wholly translated version of Steve Swallow's "Falling Grace." The visage of the Bill Evans touch is most evident on the warm-up standard "Like Someone in Love," steadily pumping up in simple, basic, flowing swing to bop. As a "new" standard, the beloved laid-back Sam Rivers composition "Beatrice" is open to certain deft chord substitutions. Kogut heartily adds on to the tune in an Evans/Hall area that heightens its original melody while Sill's cordial and substantive solo further enhances this precept -- a great idea. This album is a really good listen. It is completely thoughtful, reflective, and above all, engaging.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/01/2010
Label: Traditions (Generic)
UPC: 0640668336426
catalogNumber: 336426
Rank: 223828

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