Gene Bertoncini


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The first duo meeting on record by Gene Bertoncini and Michael Moore set the tone for their future collaborations. Bertoncini arranged all of the selections, which range from Baroque, classical, and impressionist works to standards from the Great American Songbook as well as bossa novas and modern pop repertoire. Faure's "Pavanne" is initially treated with intimacy as Bertoncini spins lyrical lines while accompanied by Moore's matchless arco bass, then the piece is transformed as the guitarist picks up the tempo and plays aggressively with Moore still providing a mellow supporting line. Three medleys successfully combine old music and new. Bach's "Lute Suite" is united with "How My Heart Sings" (a favorite of pianist Bill Evans). Bach's "Prelude in D Minor" is played unaccompanied by Bertoncini, until Moore joins him, bowing a majestic, almost cello-like solo to introduce "My Funny Valentine." They also work magic with Chopin's "Prelude in E Minor," segueing into Jobim's "Insensatez (How Insensitive)." Beatles fans will be stunned with the elaborate arrangement of "Eleanor Rigby"; the tension and occasionally bluesy flavor make it seem like a brand new composition. This valuable, long-out-of-print MPS LP should be snapped up if located without hesitation.