[First published in 2015] With tributes to Pete Saberton and Kenny Wheeler and a strong Bill Evans theme Duets by Richard Fairhurst and John Taylor is a new piano duets album set for release on 7 August.
Their collaboration first began in 2010 at the Pizza Express Jazz Club’s Steinway Festival and exploring the music of Bill Evans was an element in their rapport from the off. Tracks are: ‘Epitaph to Sabbo’ (a tribute to pianist Pete Saberton who died in 2012), ‘3 P’s Piece Part I’, ‘3 P's Piece Part II’, ‘Open Book’, ‘Epitaph to Kenny’ (another tribute, this time to Kenny Wheeler at whose memorial service last year long time friend and colleague Taylor spoke so movingly), Wheeler's ‘Sly Eyes’, a piece that appeared on 2001 Wheeler and Taylor album Moon, Taylor piece ‘Evans Above’, ‘Very Early’ and further Bill Evans compositions ’Turn Out the Stars’ and ‘Re: Person I Knew’ and, finally, ‘Growth in an Old Garden, a Fairhurst tune that goes back to the 1990s and the pianist’s Hungry Ants days.
To be released by London label Basho Records, who released an acclaimed new Liam Noble solo piano album recently, Fairhurst refers to the recording session for the album, which was recorded in Sussex in October 2013: “The duo has been growing for a while and we really worked on developing the music a lot before the session, playing several live performances and a lot of rehearsals which gave the music a chance to evolve to a point where we both felt ready to record and document what we had.”
A year earlier for John Taylor’s 70th birthday concert, the BBC recorded the two pianists deliver one of the future album selections, a beautiful rendition of ‘Turn Out The Stars’, referred to in a review here. SG
John Taylor, above left with Richard Fairhurst, following release will play at the Southbank Centre’s Jazz Piano Summit in the Purcell Room on 9 September