A good musician will always play sensitively to how other band members are playing around them, and this is especially true of jazz musicians because of the improvised nature of the music. When jazz musicians don’t listen closely and respond to one another, the music lacks a certain depth. I really enjoy playing in duo situations – it’s exposing, and for guitarists it’s particularly demanding if you’re playing with someone who plays a melodic instrument. I thought I’d post two examples of great duo playing here – a classic album and something more contemporary.
Bill Evans and Jim Hall
These two sound so good together! Someone has uploaded their 1962 album Undercurrent on youtube. Here’s what the original album sleeve notes said about them:
“What is so special about the performances here is an almost telepathic anticipation of where the music is heading – both musicians contribute equally, and there is a constant exchange of ideas, each reacting to the other with apparent ease, whatever the mood.”
Gilad Hekselman and saxophonist Ben Wendel.
A lovely performance.