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John Stowell/Michael Zilber Quartet: Live Beauty

Anyone who has enjoyed previous collaborations by guitarist John Stowell and saxophonist Michael Zilber will be delighted to discover that nothing gets lost in the transition from studio to stage on this 2012 concert recording. It’s an intimate quartet affair, marked by the kind of soulful, instinctual interplay that fans have come to expect.

In the album’s liner notes, Stowell and Zilber briefly discuss their creative relationship, the yin and yang of opposing musical temperaments. And as the performances unfold, it’s easy to understand why they think their compatibility is as special as it is unlikely. Stowell’s probing lyricism and Zilber’s innate passion are clearly evident, especially when the reedman plays soprano, but so, too, is the desire to find common ground. Certainly the kinetic “Quantum Theory,” the noir-ish “In the Park” and a multifaceted cover of “My Funny Valentine” are proof of that.

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