Speaking of duos, here's another one you don't run into every day. Collier started his career early, playing the marimba on the Lawrence Welk Show at age 9. Tom and Dan's families ended up in Seattle, where the two began performing and recording together. Later at the U. of Washington Tom met and worked with clarinetist Bill Smith, heard on many Dave Brubeck recordings. Bringing in Dan on bass made the Bill Smith Trio. Both also spent time in Los Angeles, and during their careers they have played with such as Dave Grusin, Howard Roberts, Eddie Harris, and Diane Shuur. Only a few years ago did they finally decide to record a duo album together, and this is it.
They've chosen some great tunes - from such as Gerry Mulligan, Larry Coryell, Coltrane, Miles, Dave Holland and Mick Jagger - and added four of their originals, making a total of 11. This pairing is sort of a musical tightrope-walking, much as doing a solo piano session without the usual rhythm section. it is immediately obvious that these two have had a long musical relationship and can therefore go on some pretty wild improvisational explorations without falling on their musical faces. Their creativity and widely-spanning musical chops make the album a delight to hear, without any fear of boredom due to the unusual duo instrumentation.