Kenny Barron & Dave Holland, Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge | Symphony Center | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Kenny Barron & Dave Holland, Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge Member Picks All Ages Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Fri., Dec. 5, 8 p.m. 2014

Bassist Dave Holland and pianist Kenny Barron were born three years apart on separate continents (in Wolverhampton, England, and Philadelphia, respectively), and over the course of their long, prolific careers, they’ve occasionally played together. They both accompanied baritone saxophonist Nick Brignola on albums in 1989 and 1991, and Holland partnered with drummer Daniel Humair as the rhythm section on Barron’s 1985 trio session, Scratch. But it wasn’t till 2012 that they began working as a duo. Both have operated in this intimate format with some of the most important jazz players of their generation, and on the recent The Art of Conversation (Impulse) they navigate the mainstream sound they helped codify in a sort of deft banter that comes as easily to them as breathing. They support and carve out space for each other, reacting to spontaneous gestures with quicksilver immediacy—whether it’s Holland girding a piano phrase with a fleet swoosh or Barron commenting on a bass melody with nifty contrapuntal spunk. The album includes a handful of originals by each musician, most drawn from their voluminous songbooks, as well as standards by Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, and Ellington-Strayhorn, but the empathy in each nuanced interpretation transcends the material with its generosity of spirit. Barron and Holland are seasoned bandleaders, but in this partnership they’re both willing to cede the limelight—their approach is all about refined lyric sensibility, effortless exploration of harmonic possibility, and eloquent dialogue. —Peter Margasak

Price: $24-$76

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