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January 26, 2006

Canadian Jazz CD Release

Written by
cindy mcleod

CD Release – Contemporary Jazz
Miles Black & Rene Worst / Two
Carltunes Jazz Records / 2005

Pianist Miles Black and bassist Rene Worst have released their stunning acoustic duo project Two, a contemporary jazz recording done in the studios of CBC. This quiet work is comprised mainly of Black’s compositions, with Worst, fellow Canadian Don Thompson, and standards composer Jay Livingston contributing to the eight tracks.

The artists stand among the finest jazz musicians this nation has produced, and combine their talents and shared approach for this project. Black, an harmonically rich pianist of astounding versatility and fluid precision, understates all in a thoughtful and sparse manner. Worst is a highly creative improviser, his harmonic voicings and dextrous technique are the perfect counterpoint to Black. The synthesis is lyrical mastery and one luminous sound that simply flies.

The opening track, Thompson’s For Scott Lafaro sets the tone and reveals the depth of rapport between the artists as they alternately underpin one another through this glistening swing feel. Black’s So Close is a carefree orchestral piece reminiscent of the Bill Evans/Eddie Gomez sound, and his Blues in Your Pocket is painted in shades of the jazz masters of the past. The pensive She Walks Alone is a fine example of the impressionist side of Black’s composition, with the artists creating a dramatic and evocative soundscape, while the post-bopLob carves space and time in a playful contrapuntal manner. The final track, a tender read of Livingston’s Never Let Me Go is a meaningful interpretation of this jewel, delivered in an articulate and timeless performance.

Two stills the clamour within as it bathes the listener in rapturous harmony and gentle rhythm. Organic, pure, and simply stated, this is sublime music to the ears. Recommended.

for more information visit www.milesblack.com or www.reneworst.com

Cindy McLeod

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