Deepening a two-tenor partnership that dates back to the mid-'90s, saxophonists Seamus Blake and Chris Cheek follow up their quintet release "Reeds Ramble" (Criss 1364) with Let's Call the Whole Thing Off, featuring the same powerful band lineup (Ethan Iverson on piano, Matt Penman on bass, Jochen Rueckert on drums).
While they stand apart as gifted soloists, Blake and Cheek always flourish as a team, bringing luster to every tune with their lyrical unison melodies and beautifully harmonized theme statements.
Spontaneity plays a big role, as it should when improvisers of this caliber get together (Iverson's versatility and off-kilter eloquence comes through with particular strength).
But foremost, what distinguishes this group is the logic and efficiency of its arrangements, whether slow and spacious or brisk and complex; from originals and modernist classics to standards of '20s and '30s vintage.
|1.||Let's Call The Whole Thing Off (George Gershwin) 9:09|
|2.||Choro Blanco (Seamus Blake) 5:44|
|3.||Lunar (Chris Cheek) 7:44|
|4.||La Canción Que Falta (Guillermo Klein) 9:43|
|5.||Limehouse Blues (Philip Braham / Douglas Furber) 8:09|
|6.||Surfboard (Antonio Carlos Jobim) 8:39|
|7.||Count Your Blessings (Irving Berlin) 8:12|
|8.||A Little Evil (Jerry Snook) 5:31|
Total Time: 62:56
Recorded September 10, 2015 in Brooklyn, NY, USA by Michael Marciano