Bill Kirchner: Some Enchanted Evening

These sides were recorded in September of 1986, when Kirchner brought his soprano saxophone, his clarinet and three old friends to the studio. The friends were all pianists-Mike Abene, Harold Danko and Marc Copland-and the 11 duets they played that day have finally been released. It’s been well worth the wait. The set includes a handful of standards, two Strayhorn-Ellington collaborations, one each from Miles Davis and Bill Evans and two of Kirchner’s own. Kirchner and friends turn each to the light just so, bringing out all the luster in the space between their ideas and those of the composers. The standards most easily give up the secrets of how the players interact, where they find inspiration in one another, where they look to the text for the next point of departure. Each of the pianists has his own approach, but each plays here to the set’s constant: Kirchner’s sound is beautiful, his dynamics broad, his sense of give-and-take matched by his sense of humor.