Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ian Carey & Ben Stolorow Duocracy Kabocha 2014

A fun filled romp reinventing the duo format with panache! Naked jazz for the masses!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
Face it, a duo format is almost as "naked" as a performer can get so any apprehensions from the artists are more than understandable. Trumpet player Ian Carey referred to going into the studio to record in this format as "super naked" yet there is unique chemistry that allows Carey and pianist Ben Stolorow to form a dynamic duo of sorts that slays the more pop oriented tunes from the classic days of jazz. Ben moves well away from the more traditional role of accompanist to achieve that "duocracy" of equal lyrical footing while the explore tunes from Henry Mancini and George and Ira Gershwin.
 
There is an understated eloquence that takes hold throughout the release. Melody is back, changes are done with finesse and not a self indulgent pretentiousness that may find one artist attempting to out perform the other. While the tunes are familiar and some bordering on eclectic, the original composition "Comin Along" is an abstract showstopper formed around the Benny Golson standard "Along Came Betty." Rodgers and Heart's "You Took Advantage of Me" is the perfect vehicle for the harmonic gifts of pianist Stolorow. The Mancini tune " Two For The Road" is a master class for trumpet players that are looking to work on a more expressive tone, Carey simply nails it.
 
Ian Carey and Ben Stolorow are a special partnership for a duo recording. My initial reaction was 4 Stars until I was reminded in their press release that the intent was for something different. Sometimes different isn't bad it is just different. Sometimes different earns you:
 
Tracks: Little White Lies; You Took Advantage of Me; Cherokee; Goodbye; Four In One; Two For The Road; Social Call; Comin' Along; How Long Has This Been Going On?; All The Things You Are.