Fred Simon: Same Difference
Fred Simon (piano)
Since Forever (NAIM 124)
Recorded: Chicago, September 2-3, 2008
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
To those in the know, one of Chicago's secret pleasures is native pianist/composer Fred Simon. On “Same Difference” the exquisite multi-instrumentalist Paul Mc Candless joins him to create this memorable piece of pastoral cross-genre music. McCandless, of Oregon fame, worked together with Simon previously on Premonition, Mc Candless’s 1992 album, where the two undoubtedly found they had kindred spirits.
Simon’s approach on this ballad is delicate and low-keyed. He avoids playing too much, preferring his composition to speak for itself. The interplay between the soprano saxophone and the piano is almost telepathic creating a glowingly warm conversation. Mc Candless' uplifting solo joyfully elevates the music, releasing it from its predictable path while spiriting it to a higher level. Together these two create a memorable piece of “chamber style” jazz that raises the spirit with warmth and beauty without becoming sentimental.
Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello