The jazz duo is one of saxophonist Kevin Pike's favorite settings for jazz. This album features Kevin Pike on alto and baritone saxophones, accompanied by many of the musicians he has performed with in Chicago. These musicians include Adam Johnson on acoustic bass guitar, Patrick Williams on bass, John Kregor on guitar and Doug Angelaccio on alto saxophone. All songs were arranged by Kevin Pike.
The songs on the album include jazz standards, modern pop tunes and original compositions by Kevin Pike.
This album is jazz stripped to its essence: musical interaction, improvisation and swing. It was inspired by Kevin's favorite jazz duos, including Stan Getz and Kenny Barron, Bireli Lagrene and Sylvain Luc, Cesar Camargo Mariano and Romero Lubambo, Mark Colby and Vince Maggio, and Jim Hall and Ron Carter.
Here is a list of each track with notes about the arrangement:
1. Sugar - by Stanley Turrentine (sax and guitar)
The song begins with a unison line for sax and guitar and then breaks into the famous melody, only this time with a pedal bass and modal vamp in place of the usual chord changes. This tune really swings.
2. One By One - by Wayne Shorter (sax and bass)
Wayne Shorter wrote this song for Art Blakey when he was a member of the Jazz Messengers. In this version, Kevin stretches out the melody over 2 sections, one latin and one swing. The bass line and modified chord changes give the song a completely different feel from its traditional performance.
3. My One and Only Love (sax and bass)
Kevin plays this classic ballad in a rubato version that speaks for itself.
4. Rocket Man - by Elton John (sax and bass)
This arrangement takes the famous song and really alters the form. The verse is a mixed meter groove that has a bouncy, bluesy feel. When the chorus hits, the tune jumps abruptly into an uptempo swing tune that features the melody interspersed with lots of improvisation.
5. Killing Me Softly With His Song (sax and bass)
This song was made famous by Roberta Flack and then later by Lauryn Hill and the Fugees. Kevin's version is a mellow latin version with bass and sax solos.
6. Bag O' Tricks - by Kevin Pike (sax and guitar)
Kevin first wrote this song in 1996 as a contemporary fusion tune in the style of Weather Report. In this setting, it has been transformed into a pensive ballad.
7. Bolivia - by Cedar Walton (alto sax and baritone sax)
Kevin switches from to alto to bari sax on this tune. The bari sax plays the role of bass player in this arrangement, up until the solo in the middle.
8. The Fool On The Hill - by John Lennon and Paul McCartney (sax and guitar)
This is a Beatles' song from the "Magical Mystery Tour" album. Kevin's arrangement transforms it into a jazz waltz with some reharmonization of the chord changes.
9. Willow Weep For Me (alto and baritone sax)
Kevin plays baritone sax on this arrangement in which the time signature keeps changing between 3/4 and cut time.
10. With Every Thought of You - by Kevin Pike (sax and bass)
Kevin originally wrote this song as a ballad, which is how it was performed on his CD "microjazz" from 1999. In this version, he notches up the tempo and swings it.