Kenny Barron & Lionel Loueke: Duet
Recorded: New York, December 12-13, 2007
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Here is a different side to Kenny Barron, edgy and unpredictable. The music sounds completely improvised, and almost as if the engineer left the microphone on while the pianist and guitarist were amusing themselves after the session was over. Loueke is pushed out of his happy-world-music-and-jazz bag, and into turbulent, uncharted waters. He manages to stay afloat, but Barron doesn't make it easy for him. The keyboard comping is closer to Cecil Taylor than Herbie Hancock, and the voicings are scratchy irritants meant to prod rather than support. Then roles are reversed, and Barron tries to glide over Loueke's prickly accompaniment. This is more like a boxing match than a jazz duet, but it will get your adrenaline pumping.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia