Mike DiRubbo & Larry Willis: Four Hands, One Heart

A protégé of Jackie McLean’s (he studied with the late, great alto sax master at the Hartt School during the late ’80s), Connecticut native Mike DiRubbo has a big, bold alto tone, an unerring time feel and remarkable facility on the instrument. Those qualities are put to good use in this stripped-down, revealing duo setting with veteran pianist Larry Willis, a consummate orchestral accompanist and accomplished soloist. The two demonstrate uncanny telepathy throughout their intimate dialogues on Monk’s “‘Round Midnight,” Horace Silver’s “Peace,” the standards “Star Eyes” and “Alone Together” and DiRubbo’s lyrical “Introspection,” which finds him singing through his alto with relaxed gusto.