Putte Wickman

The Very Thought of You

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It's not every day that most of a CD is devoted to clarinet-bass duets, but it works beautifully on this occasion because of the considerable musicianship and inventive approaches of Putte Wickman and Red Mitchell. Mitchell, the veteran bassist and better-known half of the duo, has long been recognized as a superb instrumentalist who also isn't immune to incorporating a little humor. Wickman, though not as widely known outside of Europe, plays at the very top of his game throughout each date. Each of the three sessions was recorded in the intimate, warm atmosphere of Mitchell's Stockholm apartment, while seeming to invite listeners to join them for a private concert. Their slow, lyrical treatment of "Sophisticated Lady," the snappy take of "How About You," and the strutting, swinging interpretation of "Topsy" are among the many delights of this disc. Mitchell, a more than competent pianist, switches to the keyboard for enjoyable renditions of "The Very Thought of You," "I'm Glad There Is You," and "Ill Wind." This Swedish release on the Dragon label is well worth the extra effort to track it down.

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