Tine Bruhn’s new release, Nearness, is a duo recording of standards with pianist Johnny O'Neal. Tine Bruhn and Johnny O’Neal started working together in the summer of 2011 when her regular pianist had to cancel on short notice and sent Johnny O’Neal as a sub! Since then they have appeared almost weekly at Robert Restaurant in NYC.
Mr. O'Neal has played with Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, and Lionel Hampton to name just a few. He has opened for Oscar Peterson at Carnegie Hall and he played the role of Art Tatum in the Oscar winning movie "Ray" based on Mr. Peterson’s recommendation. In a recent JazzTimes article, O’Neal is named as “one of jazz’s best-kept secrets”.
This recording is a natural ‘documentation’ of the musical relationship between these two very different musicians. Different in the sense of background, age, ethnicity, gender. But musically they complement each other. The music was recorded in only one day with just two takes per song. Johnny O’Neal states, “We just went in there and laid it down! It just felt right!” Tenor saxophonist Stacy Dillard is featured on four tracks. Ben Ratliff (New York Times) calls Dillard “a young saxophonist of serious promise.” Dillard’s played with Wycliffe Gordon, Eric Reed, and Roy Hargrove, et al.
As Spike Wilner (Smalls Jazz Club, NYC) writes in his liner notes: "Tine Bruhn for me is an interesting throwback to another age - one of cool elegance and poise. Her demeanor and look are distinctly ‘jazz age’, as if she could step out of a Fitzgerald novel. Her voice has a throaty comfortableness and her feel is an easy, swinging and true jazz feeling. Her repertoire, similarly, is classic in its choices. Real Tin-Pan Alley. Joined here on this recording by a true master, Johnny O'Neal and a young master Stacy Dillard, this blend has an authentic feel. I'm sure you'll enjoy this selection of tunes and be glad to get to know Tine Bruhn.”