Gene Bertoncini and Michael Moore made several terrific albums together during the 1980s that have unjustly vanished from print. Their second studio date is a gem that showcases their love for great melodies, as well as impeccable improvisations within each of them. Bertoncini's crystal clear lines on his acoustic classical guitar are complemented by Moore's flawless accompaniment. The first side of the LP is dedicated to three medleys. Ravel's "Pavane" quickly segues into the standard "The Lamp Is Low." Rarely has the music of Billy Strayhorn been performed so intimately as their medley of "Lush Life" and "Isfahan." The last pairing begins with Johann Sebastian Bach's "Siciliano" and gives way to Bertoncini's tantalizing "Waltz." Liner-note writer Gene Lees was so impressed with the guitarist's virtuoso performance of Gershwin's "Prelude No. 2" that he phoned him to ask if there were overdubs and was surprised to learn there weren't any. After the introduction, Bertoncini switches to an amplified guitar, something he rarely uses on record dates; Moore's matchless arco bass is backed by the leader's funky arrangement. Their slightly off-center take of Ellington's "Mood Indigo" is a refreshing approach to this frequently recorded jazz standard. Finally, Rachmaninov's "Vocalise" provides another opportunity to enjoy Moore's incredible bowing technique. Although portions of this Omnisound LP were reissued on the Stash CD compilation Strollin', it also has fallen out of print, so it is well-worth searching for the complete session.
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