Bill Anschell | Brent Jensen

We Couldn't Agree More

origin 82533



MUSIC REVIEW BY Michael Steinman, Cadence

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Jazz duet playing requires empathy and quick responses, qualities evident in profusion on We Couldn't Agree More. On [this record], Anschell and Jensen make music that is startlingly beautiful, surprising, and powerful. At points, I was reminded of the experiments of Al Cohn and Jimmy Rowlek, the forays of Joel Press and Kyle Aho. But these two players follow their own impulses. While exploring familiar standards and honoring their melodic and harmonic possibilities, they create something new on every track. This duet doesn't follow the usual pattern, with piano as a subordinate rhythmic/orchestral background to a soloist; the two players are generous in their willingness to trade off melodic and harmonic roles, as on "What Is This Thing Called Love" and their own variation on "All The Things You Are," wittily retitled "You Aren't All That," and a romp through "Have You Met Miss Jones" that only hints at the original. The soprano saxophone is one of the most abused (and occasionally abusive) instruments in the reed family; it can be a whining, keening bully. Not so here. Jensen's intonation is lovely, his tone focused between sweetness and dryness. Anschell is both a sympathetic colleague and a creator of intuitive, winding single-note lines and just-right chords. Listeners who think the 1) only Big Names of Jazz are making worthwhile music, of 2) that the "standard repertoire" is exhausted, or 3) that making the tradition new is no longer possible should investigate this beautifully-recorded CD, a transforming experience.






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