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Hamiet Bluiett/Larry Willis: If Trees Could Talk

No duet encounter is worth its weight in salt if the participants aren’t reading from the same page, and baritone sax master Hamiet Bluiett and pianist Larry Willis operate as if a pair of young siblings sharing the same engrossing book throughout this date. That sense of sharing, give and take further manifests itself in the musical selection chosen to flesh out these 14 vignettes. (The CD title refers to a Bluiett pronouncement at first encounter of the woods surrounding the antebellum, rural Maryland plantation mansion that houses Mapleshade Records.) The music ranges from the brief dissonance of Bluiett’s opening duo with percussionist Asante (a curious inclusion, given the success of the piano-bari theme) through a program of contributions from both players leavened with Monk’s “Ask Me Now” and Coltrane’s “Some Other (Schizophrenic) Blues.”

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