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Joe Beck/Ali Ryerson: Django

Guitarist Joe Beck has played with everyone from Miles Davis to flamenco king Sabicas, while flutist Ali Ryerson has worked with Stephane Grappelli and Luciano Pavarotti. Together, they make beautiful music.

Part of what makes this duo special is Beck’s alto guitar, which employs a tuning of his own conception that matches up exceptionally well with Ryerson’s sultry-sounding alto flute. With Beck able to cover an expansive range that accesses both rich bass notes and higher-pitched chordal structures and Ryerson’s lush tone and adroit improvisational abilities, each player perfectly complements the other, witnessed by the deft work on “Laura,” “O Barquinho” and “Carioca Blue,” a vibrant Beck original. For a change of pace, the pair offers a medley that moves from “Come Together” to “Alone Together,” seamlessly uniting two seemingly unlike pieces of music. The program concludes with “Danny Boy,” gorgeously harmonized by Beck and sensitively interpreted by Ryerson.

No ordinary guitar/flute duo, this pair has a unique sound and combined set of abilities that embraces a variety of styles and enables them to produce chamber jazz at its best.

Originally Published