Ted Rosenthal and Bob Brookmeyer share a common thread, as both men recorded a number of albums with the late Gerry Mulligan (though not together), as well as being at the top of their game on their respective instruments and loving great melodies. This 2001 duo concert features seven standards, all played with a spirit of adventure and risk-taking. "Night and Day" is a brilliant opener, with Brookmeyer's aggressive valve trombone followed by a brief vamp by Rosenthal to build tension before he cuts loose with a fine effort of his own. The pianist's jaunty introduction to "Embraceable You" salutes Charlie Parker, while his surprising chord changes underneath Brookmeyer obviously pleased the veteran. Their atypical approach to "Yesterdays" is set in waltz time with playfulness rarely present in most performances of this warhorse. Mulligan would have loved their dark setting of "How Deep Is the Ocean," which seems to explode from the depths of despair to the surface without mishap. Once again, the familiar path is avoided in their stunning treatment of "All the Things You Are"; the introduction made popular by Dizzy Gillespie is bypassed in favor of Rosenthal's opening improvisation, leading into intricate jazz counterpoint of the highest level, along with the pianist's amusing brief detour into "On the Trail." It would be surprising if Ted Rosenthal and Bob Brookmeyer aren't planning a follow-up to this outstanding live CD.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden