Michael Moore

Concord Duo Series, Vol. 9

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The relaxed landscape of this CD, recorded live as part of Concord's Duo Series, is drawn with the first track, when Michael Moore bows the head of "I Remember You" on his sonorous, 200-year-old Tyrol bass until Bill Charlap arrives, bringing the perfect complement in his light, delicate touch as the two swing the tune around. This balance of colors -- together with the empathic duo work of two masters, each with a flawless internal clock -- characterizes all that follows, whether it's bop or ballad, show song or Ellingtonia, or a jaunty antique like "Ain't She Sweet" or "Limehouse Blues." In general, this is a sunny bunch of tunes, cooked over easy. Highlights include "If I Loved You," with Moore again bowing warm, but never schmaltzy and with Charlap's entrance turning it into a gentle bossa; Moore's own lovely "The Old New Waltz," with its echoes of Bill Evans; and the witty romp on Benny Goodman and Charlie Christian's rarely heard "Seven Come Eleven." The 14 tracks are short, none longer than five minutes, and the inclusion of the Mahler seems an odd, recital-ish choice, but things get back on track with a merry chase after "Cottontail," and wrap with a warm reading of the beautiful "Deep Summer Music." This is a spare and sparkling little gem, full of feeling, and perfect for going through the papers on a rainy Sunday morning.

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