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A tenor sax union not to be missed
James A. Vedda | Alexandria, VA USA | 12/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1990 live performance reunites Pete Christlieb with his mentor of 30 years earlier, Bob Cooper. These two tenor men are stylistically a perfect match for the material on this album. Their compatibility extends to their sound as well - both have achieved a great balance between edginess and fullness in their tone, making it a challenge for an untrained ear to tell them apart. (Hint: Christlieb has a bit more edge than Cooper, and tends to put more notes in his solos.)
The tunes are mostly from the traditional jazz songbook, including such favorites as "Limehouse Blues," Billy Strayhorn's "Passion Flower," and Dizzy Gillespie's "Shaw `Nuff," which is an ideal bop showcase for a tenor duet. Cooper has a solo feature in Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday," a beautiful ballad in which Coop demonstrates that he's still got the rich sound and interpretive ability that made him a tenor sax legend. Christlieb, as usual, is a whole lot of fun to listen to regardless of the style or tempo of the tune.
Little is said in the liner notes about the rhythm section, but they certainly carry their weight, and are given their own feature number in "The Late Late Show." Pianist Mike Wofford deserves special acknowledgement. I've heard recordings of him backing up other artists, and like this album, the results are always satisfying.
Cooper and Christlieb are great tour guides through the jazz landscape, so I highly recommend taking a ride with them."