Jazz Duo Albums
August 13, 2014 12:40 PM   Subscribe

What are your favorite jazz albums that feature duos, with or without rhythm section?

I love the collaborative energy and creativity when two musicians are really locking in and communicating together. Some of my favorites (Spotify & YouTube links):
-- Marian McPartland and Chick Corea, Spain (two pianos)
-- JJ Johnson and Al Grey, Things Are Getting Better All the Time (two trombones - sadly Spotify only has this one track from the album)
-- Chick Corea and various, Rendezvous In New York (this whole album is great, especially the stuff with Bobby McFerrin).
-- Oscar Peterson and Count Basie, Jumpin' at the Woodside (two pianos)
-- Easy Living, Joe Pass & Ella Fitzgerald (guitar and voice)
-- Tommy Emmanuel and Martin Taylor, Bernie's Tune (two guitars)

In particular, I like these albums/recordings because the two artists are so different, and it's fun to see how their individual sounds and styles come together (or don't). It's also great to hear extended improvised sessions of the two artists just playing around with motives and sounds - I really like when you can tell that they're having a good time and enjoying themselves.

Any other suggestions?
posted by rossination to Media & Arts (24 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Bill Evans and Jim Hall - Undercurrent
posted by Thorzdad at 12:44 PM on August 13, 2014

Response by poster: Thorzad - yes! That's perfect! I am currently jamming out to that, thanks.
posted by rossination at 12:48 PM on August 13, 2014

Best answer: Archie Shepp & Dollar Brand -- Duet
posted by neroli at 12:53 PM on August 13, 2014

Best answer: It's a great setting. I have more favorites here than I can count or possibly post about, but I would mention the ten-volume Concord Duo Series recorded at Maybeck Recital Hall. My favorite of the ten is volume 2, featuring pianist Dave McKenna with guitarist Gray Sargent, but the whole series is great.

If you liked one of Chick Corea's duets, you'll like others. He's done many. Try his album with Hiromi.
posted by cribcage at 12:54 PM on August 13, 2014

Best answer: Stan Getz and Kenny Barron - People Time
posted by davebush at 12:59 PM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Herb Ellis and Freddie Green - Orange, Brown and Green from Rhythm Willie.
posted by tommasz at 1:28 PM on August 13, 2014

Best answer: Pianist Ellis Larkins did some nice duet recordings:

with Ruby Braff

with Ella
posted by snowymorninblues at 2:20 PM on August 13, 2014

Best answer: What a great question! I've had fun going through my shelves and plucking the following; if I think of any I've missed, I'll add them later.

St├ęphane Grappelli / Michel Petrucciani, Flamingo (title track, review)
Jim Hall, Dialogues (review)
Dave Holland / Sam Rivers (Wikipedia; there's also a Vol. 2, which I don't have)
Lee Konitz / Martial Solal, Star Eyes (review)
Myra Melford / Marty Ehrlich, Yet Can Spring (review)
Enrico Rava / Ran Blake, Duo En Noir ("Let's Stay Together," review)
Warren Vache / Bill Charlap, 2gether (review)
Joe Venuti / Eddie Lang: they did a bunch of records together; I have JSP 3402 (2-CD set), which is excellently remastered
Steve Lacy / Mal Waldron, Live at Dreher, Paris 1981 (Wikipedia, review of Vol. 2)

I don't know how far out your tastes go; these may or may not be too avant, but I love 'em:

Anthony Braxton / Marilyn Crispell, Duets - Vancouver 1989 (Presto - lets you hear an excerpt)
Anthony Braxton / Evan Parker, Duo (London) 1993 (review, YouTube)
Anthony Braxton / Brett Larner, 11 Compositions (Duo) 1995 (Pandora)
Tony Coe / Roger Kellaway, British-American Blue (review)
Joseph Jarman / Marilyn Crispell, Connecting Spirits (review)
Matthew Shipp / Mat Maneri, Gravitational Systems (review)

posted by languagehat at 3:20 PM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker--Reunion. (Baker only plays, not sings)

Cheesy as a cheese cave on the moon, but Francis Albert Sinatra vs Antonio Carlos Jobim. You've never heard Corcovado really mangled until you hear Sinatra mangle it. Mmmm.
posted by Lardmitten at 3:44 PM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

iirc, Joshua Redman's recording of "Moose The Mooche" is just tenor and bass
posted by thelonius at 3:52 PM on August 13, 2014

Best answer: Some bass duo albums:

Dave Holland & Barre Phillips - Music from Two Basses
Damon Smith & Peter Kowald - Mirrors---Broken but no Dust
Damon Smith & Bertram Turetzky - Thoughtbeetle

More varied combos, some of these extend into free improv territory:

Anthony Braxton & Max Roach - Birth and Rebirth
Anthony Braxton & Matt Bauder - 2 + 2 Compositions
Anthony Braxton & Walter Franks - Four Improvisations (... LONG improvisations)
Cecil Taylor & Tony Oxley - Leaf Palm hand
Derek Bailey & Dave Holland - Improvisations for Cello and Guitar
Fred Anderson & Hamid Drake - [basically anything]
Hamid Drake & Mats Gustafsson - For Don Cherry
Hans Reichel & Tom Cora - Angel Carver
John Butcher & Gerry Hemingway - Buffalo Pearl
John Butcher & Georg Graewe - Light's View
Kaoru Abe & Hiroshi Yamazaki - Jazz Bed
Mal Waldron & Marion Brown - Songs of Love and Regret
Mary Halvorson & Weasel Walter - Opulence
Peter Brotzmann & Jason Adasiewicz - Going All Fancy
Satoko Fujii & Tatsuya Yoshida - Erans (there albums together are a lot of fun)
Sun Ra & Walt Dickerson - Visions
Tatsuya Nakatani & Peter Kowald - 13 Definitions of Truth
Tim Berne & Hank Roberts - Cause & Reflect

I'm sure I've left out some good ones.
posted by kenko at 3:57 PM on August 13, 2014

Like for instance Anthony Braxton & Gerry Hemingway - Old Dogs!!!
posted by kenko at 4:01 PM on August 13, 2014

Best answer: Jim Hall & Pat Metheny - S/T

Jim Hall and Ron Carter - Alone Together

Oscar Peterson and Harry Edison - S/T
posted by John Cohen at 4:22 PM on August 13, 2014

Oh shit I didn't even put together that "with a rhythm section" means basically allowing quartets (or more depending on how expansively you define "rhythm section": is guitar/piano/drums/bass a "rhythm section"?). That seems to really open floodgates; am I reading that correctly?
posted by kenko at 5:08 PM on August 13, 2014

Best answer: An evening with Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea: In Concert. Dueling grand pianos, and the best players in the business.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:59 PM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions everybody! Some of these I already have and just forgot about (that Herbie and Chick album!), and some of them are going to be really fun to dig into.

kenko: sure, drum/bass/etc is also fine, but what I'm after is really interesting interplay between two people specifically. There are plenty of great quartet and trio albums where the whole band is all listening and communicating, and that's awesome but not really what I'm after in this question.
posted by rossination at 6:35 PM on August 13, 2014

Best answer: Jessica Williams Live at Yoshi's Volumes 1 & 2
posted by leafwoman at 6:57 PM on August 13, 2014

Best answer: I can't believe that no one has mentioned Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond, Two of a Mind
posted by supercres at 7:13 PM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Interstellar Space
posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:51 AM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Second Mulligan/Baker. Really good stuff.

Coltrane/ Monk. here.

Bags and Trane, here.

And most obviously, Getz/Gilberto.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:02 AM on August 14, 2014

Best answer: Also, Coltrane and Hartman.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:04 AM on August 14, 2014

Best answer: David Friesen and Glen Moore - Returning is an interesting album of duets, some with two double basses and some with double bass and piano. It's a mix of standards, originals, and freeform pieces.
posted by usonian at 8:33 AM on August 14, 2014

Best answer: Seconding Coltrane & Hartman. Wine & cheese. So great.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:33 AM on August 15, 2014

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