John Pisano & Billy Bean: Cherokee
Makin' It Again (String Jazz Recordings SJRCD1003)
Recorded: Various locations 1956-1958
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
There is no good reason why Billy Bean is so little known, except that he didn't record much. So this 7½-minute duet with John Pisano is an excellent opportunity to discover his playing alongside a good – but not outstanding – partner on the same instrument. Even before Bean takes the second solo, the inventive way in which he plays basslines or comps behind Pisano already tells us something special is about to happen. He soars at 2:25 with a beautiful round sound, clear horn player-like phrasing, and a flow of melodic ideas taking him far from the formalism often attached to this set of chord progressions. Indeed, his guitar flies like the hawk over the prairie, and it's a mighty thing for our ears to behold!
Reviewer: Thierry QuÃ©num