Bipolar: Just the Two of Us
Just the Two of Us
Euphrates, Me Jane (Two Minds Music 2M-1001)
Jed Feuer (trumpet, flugelhorn),
Stephanie Long (soprano sax), Craig Swanson (piano), David Ostrem (bass), James Windsor-Wells (drums).
Composed by Bill Withers, Ralph McDonald & William Salter.
Recorded: New York, July 2008
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
Grover Washington Jr.'s most recognizable hit has been covered countless times, but probably never like this. Jed Feuer's swinging arrangement gives this quiet storm icon a nice retrofit. David Ostrem's bass is key. His crisp lines, beginning with a quick statement of the familiar theme right at the top, set a steadfastly jazz tempo. And I when I say "jazz," I mean in the old-fashioned, prewar sense. Feuer's Satchelicious (yes, I just made up that word) trumpet doesn't even acknowledge that Dizzy ever existed. Feuer and soprano saxophonist Stephanie Long engage in call & response, and end up playing different phrases at the same time, veering to within a hair of Dixieland. Some people will claim that Smooth Jazz subverts straight jazz. If true, then payback was overdue.
Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron