Andy LaVerne Universal Mind
- Released: December 1, 1995
- Originally Released: 1995
- Label: Steeplechase
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Recordings of two pianists on one instrument are much rare than those of two pianists playing on separate keyboards, for some very good reasons. Greater cooperation is required when sharing one instrument and there's less margin for error since each performer is restricted to roughly half of the keyboard. Richie Beirach & Andy LaVerne have no problems getting in each other's way or failing to complement one another's lines on this CD, recorded directly onto a digital Yamaha Disklavier. "Solar" serves as a dazzling introduction to the pair, followed by a dreamy reharmonized "All The Things You Are." Beirach has a solo feature on LaVerne's lovely "Chappaqua" while LaVerne is unaccompanied on Beirach's equally attractive ballad "Elm." "Blue In Green" has a very abstract introduction and is slowly savored. The closing tracks are a nice tribute to Bill Evans; his complete "Town Hall Suite," which is very rarely performed in its entirety, is played with its "Prologue" and "Epilogue" both extended to showcase the pair's improvising skills. Two lovely ballads, the lesser known "Story Line" and Evans' classic "Turn Out The Stars," are also interpreted with imagination. There's even a detailed list that helps the listener identify which artist is at each end of the piano. Highly recommended. ~ Ken Dryden
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