This duo session was first released by Birdology in 1999 and reissued by Dreyfus in 2002. It features the underappreciated pianist Bill Carrothers in the company of the celebrated drummer Bill Stewart. Piano/drum duos usually create music of a highly textural and open-ended sort -- Mika Pohjola and Yusuke Yamamoto or Irene Schweizer and Pierre Favre come to mind. Carrothers and Stewart inhabit a similar universe, using the space where the bass would be as a doorway to unlimited invention, be it a rancorous "Puttin' on the Ritz" or "Off Minor," a stark, minimalist "Alone Together," or a slow blues called "Death of a Cigarette." Carrothers' edgy, polytonal harmonies give a modern thrust to material as unlikely as "Tenting on the Old Campground" and "The Whiffenpoof Song." His back-to-back originals -- the busy "A Squirrel's Tale" and the sad, lyrical "Vito" -- are a study in contrasts, giving Stewart a chance to display his expansive palette.
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AllMusic Review by David R. Adler