Neither Jack Wilkins nor Gene Bertoncini will need any introduction to most Just Jazz Guitar readers. On the surface, it appears to be a most unlikely pairing, with Jack's supercharged chops and Gene's delicate Bill Evans muse. However, Jack's undisputed technical mastery spurs Gene to greater heights whilst, conversely, Gene's gentle, more considered approach, harnesses the former's tendency to occasionally overplay.
The tunes are drawn from the classic 'standards' repertoire: Lover Man, How Deep is the Ocean, Cry me a River, Gone With The Wind, Here's That Rainy Day etc. Recorded live on the S.S. Norway in 1998, the sound quality is very good, with an excellent balance between nylon and metal strung guitars. Unfortunately, the tuning is not always spot on, but this doesn't really detract from the music. Check out, for example, the magical ambience on the more gentle tunes like Cry Me a River and Lover Man, which begins with an out-of-tempo rubato statement of the A section, which then segues beautifully into a bossa/rock. In fact this tune takes in so many moods, tempos and approaches that it provides an excellent sampler for the remainder of the CD. I was surprised that Gene didn't play a solo piece, especially as Jack took 'Spring is Here' by himself. Nevertheless this CD contains masterful playing from both parties and is sure to delight all guitar aficionados.
Reviews Press Stories
Review "Just the Two of Us"