Tommy Smith & Brian Kellock

Tommy Smith & Brian Kellock

Whispering Of The Stars

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Ten years on from their previous duo recording, saxophonist Tommy Smith and pianist Brian Kellock pick up exactly where they left off, opening this selection of standards with a slightly more expansive reading of the song that closed its predecessor, You Must Believe In Spring. While in their concerts (they are touring together imminently) Smith and Kellock can get into the musical equivalent of a high-wire act or a relay team, passing choruses instead of the baton, here the mood is restrained, the songs, mostly ballads, treated with care and respect and each played with faithful attention to its meaning. Thus I Apologise finds Smith, whose tone and phrasing are beautifully expressive and succinct, sounding appropriately apologetic and regretful. Kellock is likewise masterly, his accompaniments always finding something new to say on material he must have played a thousand times and his improvisations singing with wit and invention. International-class jazz on a session recorded just over the road from this newspaper's office.

Rob Adam