Personnel: Billy Butterfield (trumpet); Dick Wellstood (piano).
Recording information: 06/1973.
In 1973 the great swing/Dixieland trumpeter Billy Butterfield recorded a set of duets with the equally great stride pianist Dick Wellstood. Both of the musicians were still in their prime, which was impressive considering that Butterfield had already been a major musician for 35 years. Duets can be difficult because there is nowhere to hide, but in this case it was an obvious joy for the musicians. Wellstood's strong, two-handed style would have made the inclusion of a bass, a rhythm guitar, and drums a bit of a frivolity, and Butterfield's iron chops meant that he did not get weary easily either. Their renditions of a dozen standards plus a second version of "It's a Wonderful World" are full of spontaneity, logical improvising, and exciting moments with plenty of sparks flying. Highly recommended. ~ Scott Yanow