January/February 2004

Pete Jolly/Jan Lundgren
Fresh Sound Records

Only in Hollywood! Imagine two shapely, highly attuned twins just waiting to be played with. The nine-foot, topless beauties are both named Yamaha, and the lucky swingers are named Pete Jolly and Jan Lundgren. This is the Pete Jolly-Jan Lundgren Quartet Collaboration (Fresh Sound), and rounding out the foursome, Chuck Berghofer and Joe La Barbera must confine themselves to bass and drums respectively and respectfully.

Seriously, this is a master class in collaboration, recording, production and packaging. An informative 30-page booklet explains all the fine points of stereo separation, lists who is playing what for how many measures on which channel. The rest is the sheer enjoyment of listening to pianists whose musical philosophies are as close as Rimsky and Korsakov when it comes to soloing and comping. It is no exaggeration to say every track is a highlight. There are no originals, just standards, and what a delight to hear such cleanly executed versions of neglected gems such as "The Lamp Is Low," "When the Sun Comes Out," "You Stepped Out of a Dream," Sonny Berman's "Sonny Speaks" and Gigi Gryce's "Minority."

Originally published in January/February 2004

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