Gonzalez & Paulo Craft Thoughtful Duets
I’ll admit one thing straight off. I’ve never heard a Dennis Gonzalez recording I didn’t like, or at least find very interesting. Second thing: I’m afraid I’ve never heard a Joao Paulo recording before this one. Listening to their duos on Scape Grace (Clean Feed) was an affirmation of the new and a confirmation of the already known. Gonzalez plays the trumpet family of instruments with warmth and a directly communicating musicality. Joao Paulo responds with an equally warm and direct pianism that works quite well in this context. They are both on the same wavelength. An almost folk-like series of melodies and harmonies result. It’s refreshing to hear after the many hours of review slogging listening I do in a day.
They remain pretty diatonic throughout. So what’s wrong with that? After everything has been done or attempted out there in the music world, a return to simplicity can feel like a wholesome blast of mountain air after a long trip through smog and traffic. That’s the way this recording feels to me at any rate.