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Review "Just the Two of Us"
Chiaroscuro CRD 362 [71:59] This album, recorded live in 1998, pairs not only two masters of the guitar, but also two distinctly different instruments and ap proaches. Bertoncini employs a nylon- string with fingerstyle technique akin to that of a classical player, while Wilkins uses a traditional archtop electric and essentially is a pick specialist. The net outcome is intri- cate, spontaneous music that is frequently brilliant in both conception and execution. While virtuoso displays on the part of both participants are common, Wilkins--who possesses the ability to play lighting fast, pick-style runs- is responsible for the lion's share, which can be heard on the ad- mventurous rendition of "Lover Man," his silken solo reading of "Spring is Here" and elsewhere. As for Bertoncini, he especially shines on "Cry me a River" and Jobim's "Manha de Carnival", where he provides ex-pert, inventive support and demonstrates his gifts for melody and chords during his own improvisation. But as great as these guys are individually, together they pro- duce some magic moments that include tandem soloing rife with counterpoint, osti- natos and other devices that mesh well. Exceptional work from start to finish, but then you'd expect no less from these two.