AllMusic.COM review of Conversations by Scott Yanow - December 2005
(rated 4 stars)
Although bassist Rick Jones gets first billing, this set of "conversations" has him and pianist Gary Brunotte playing very much as equals. The two musicians interact closely on a set of jazz standards, playing melodically, quietly, with lyricism and with quick reactions to each other's ideas. High points include "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," "I Hear a Rhapsody," and "I Love You," but all of the performances are filled with subtle creativity. This small-label release is well worth searching for.
EuroClubdeJazz review of Conversations by Wes Gillespie - February 2005
The latest set from Minnesotan pianist Gary Brunotte sees him line up with bassist Rick Jones for a ten set extravaganza of Latin and jazz standards from the great composers such as Carlos Antonio Jobim, Johnny Mercer, Johnny Mandel, Cole Porter and Horace Silver. Although a talented composer himself Gary has decided to interpret such classics as So Danco Samba, Corcovado, Emily, I Hear a Rhapsody, I Love You and Silver's Serenade.
The duo setting lends itself to some clever counterplay, but generally Jones provides an unobtrusive accompaniment on upright bass in the Ron Carter mould with Gary sensitive feel caressing the keys with sheer elegance that offers a pristine feel to the lovely melody of tracks such as the Mercer / Mandel favourite Emily. His riffs and discord reminds me of Bill Evans.
Being first and foremost a Brazilian fan and especially of the man who stamped his marque on the ethos of Boss Nova, I was delighted to see two compositions by Antonio Carlos Jobim included on this highly enjoyable set. The first is the mid tempo So Danco Samba which is performed with a more jazz flavour than bossa nova, something which is more obvious without a drummer or percussionist but nonetheless a memorable cover with subtle nuances of the melody line, Jones breaks to a bass interlude which adds to this classic arrangement.
This is 'Old School' mainstream at its very best and tracks like I Hear Rhapsody and Smile encapsulates a time gone by when this music was the modern pop and we were fortunate to have such a plethora of multi-talented songwriters and musicians to play the music.
The beautiful Angel Eyes is just perfect for this piano / bass duo which lends itself to elegant simplicity and could have come straight out of a Rom Com movie soundtrack. Alone Together's eloquent solo offers the listener a sense of discovery with a more ranging offering by Brunotte.
The duo's version of Horace Silver's Silver's Seranade is one o the album's highlights and blends the free-form exchange between the two instruments as they offset and compliment each other on this mid tempo piece.
The whole album has a relaxed feel about it and needs no effort to listen to, no abstraction and the perfect balance between the duo. The choice of material compliments this marriage and the arrangements have just enough complexity to extend the two musicians.
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