Andy Laverne and John Abercrombie: Where We Were

Pianist Andy LaVerne and guitarist Abercrombie have been performing duos since their student days in Boston during the late 1960s. Here, we catch the latest installment of their ongoing adventures. Recorded live at the Seelbach in Louisville, LaVerne and Abercrombie thread neon strands through tapestries which pulsate and glow.

Looming in the background are the long shadows of Bill Evans and Jim Hall, another piano-guitar tandem that had something distinct to say. Indeed, the soaring arcs let loose by LaVerne and Abercrombie evoke the kind of edgy ethereality that Evans and Hall, along with Miles Davis, helped establish as jazz-worthy. The music dances uninhibitedly in deep space.

Another plus lies in the duo’s distinct sonic profile. Like Hall, or Evans, or Davis, or Getz or Coltrane, Abercrombie and LaVerne possess signature sounds that in tandem are simply exquisite. Did I mention their capacity to invent? That, too, is amazing. Here, standards such as “Softly as in a Morning Sunrise” alternate with bracing originals like LaVerne’s “Soulstice” and Abercrombie’s