In the early ‘80’s I was trying to find a sound that would complement the tuba in a jazz setting. I worked a gig on bass with the great pianist, Ron Kalina, who pulled out his harmonica and amazed me with the beauty of his playing. I said “that’s the sound” and called a rehearsal. It turned me on so much that, within a month, I made my first record, “Children at Play”. For 25 years it has remained an obscure but still-played jazz classic. Recently Ron came to me and said “let’s create that magic again”. His dear friend Judy Wolman joined us in producing this new set we call “The Odd Couple”. We enlisted the support of Larry Koonse, Tom Warrington and Joe La Barbera who are among the most recorded and respected jazz musicians in the world. Ron is one of my jazz heroes and I am blessed to have the chance to share the bandstand again with this giant of the harmonica. We are “The Odd Couple”… Jim Self
From Liner Notes by Don Heckman
What makes “The Odd Couple” special is not just the uniqueness of the tuba-harmonica instrumentation nor the duo’s long list of credits, it’s the joy, the enthusiasm and the commitment that they bring to the act of making music. This is an album in which spontaneity, interaction and inventiveness are the real measures of excellence.