Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

Rich Perry & Harold Danko : Rhapsody

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Tenor saxophonist Perry and pianist Danko go back to the late 1970s together, when they were members of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. They have recorded together often since then, and their rapport is evident again throughout this album of duets. Focusing on American popular song, with a couple of jazz standards added, they spin solos full of intriguing subtlety and personal vocabulary.

Perry’s warm tone, odd rhythmic twists and outside notes suggest Wayne Marsh, Richie Kamuca and Bill Perkins. Danko’s chord voicings and wiry, independent lines suggest a distillation of Bill Evans. But these references are simply part of the background from which Perry and Danko have established their own identities.

Songbook favorites such as “I Hear a Rhapsody,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Beautiful Love” and “Yesterdays” are the kind of moody material their tones seem designed (or destined) for. Tadd Dameron’s “Soultrane” and John Coltrane’s “Central Park West” fit perfectly in this atmosphere.

Perry and Danko make lyrical work of these performances, far from run-and-gun technical displays. As an accompanist, Danko never intrudes on Perry’s lines; his support is more like opening up possibilities. This is a lovely album.