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Walt Weiskopf and Andy Fusco: Tea for Two

Tenorist Walt Weiskopf and altoist Andy Fusco have been playing together off and on since Fusco got his friend on the Buddy Rich band more than 20 years ago. Consequently, they make a good team, each with his own personal style within a shared overall musical sensibility. Weiskopf is from the Coltrane school, and his prodigious technique permits him to spin long, sinuous lines with every note and nuance clearly articulated. His partner, on the other hand, displays more of an updated Parker-derived methodology where “ghosted,” or lightly suggested, in-between notes are part of the approach. Both have strong, personal sounds, and both can swing mightily.

They leaders are joined on Tea for Two by Walt’s brother Joel on piano, bassist Paul Gill and drummer Billy Drummond. While Weiskopf’s previous recordings have focused on original compositions, Tea for Two includes a number of standards as well. Among them are the title song, Miles Davis’ and Bud Powell’s “Budo,” Keith Jarrett’s “Shades of Jazz,” Cole Porter’s “So in Love” and Jimmy Rowles’ gorgeous “The Peacocks.” Their jointly composed “Unison,” a barnburner on the changes of “Avalon,” gives them a grand opportunity to demonstrate the similarities and contrasts of their styles.

Originally Published