A beautiful pairing – the keyboards of Bill Evans and harmonica of Toots Thielemans – presented here in a space that marks the record as one of the best from both players in the 70s! Some tunes are sad and blue, and very spare – others a bit more upbeat and lyrical, almost taking us back to Bill's more sprightly modes of the early 60s – and the clear, clean sound offers up the best tones from both players in a perfect space. Other musicians include Marc Johnson on bass, Eliot Zigmund on drums, and Larry Schneider on flute, tenor, and soprano sax – and Evans plays a bit of electric piano in addition to acoustic, something we always love!
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Pianist Jay McShann has spent much of his career being classified as a blues pianist when in fact he is a flexible swing stylist. On this excellent release, McShann appears with two groups of all-stars. His original "Crazy Legs and Friday Strut" and "Georgia on My Mind" find him joined by Herbie Mann (on flute and tenor), baritonist Gerry Mulligan and a rhythm section that includes guitarist John Scofield. The other selections (two standards, Duke Ellington's "Blue Feeling" and McShann's own "Jumpin' the Blues") are performed by an octet also featuring Mann, altoist Earle Warren, trumpeter Doc Cheatham, trombonist Dicky Wells and Scofield. The unusual grouping of swing, bop and modern stylists is successful (the material is pretty basic) and Janis Siegel's guest appearance for a vocal duet with McShann on "Ain't Misbehavin'" works.
Drummer Barrett Deems is listed as the leader of this septet set but the real star is the great swing clarinetist Chuck Hedges. Jamming in a septet also including vibraphonist Don DeMichael (who was better-known as a jazz journalist), Bob Roberts on solo guitar, rhythm guitarist John Defauw, pianist Steve Behr, and bassist Wilson McKindra, Hedges and Deems perform eight vintage swing and Dixieland tunes in spirited fashion. Highlights include "Deed I Do," "Shine," "After You've Gone," and "Get Happy."