Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz
The material is all standards, the most recent being Chuck Mangione's rumbling "Land of Make Believe," almost thundering here and Stevie Wonder's "Send One Your Love." This playing is both an example and tribute to the spontaneity of jazz and the high level of creativity required to sit down with no previous practice and to play like this. The Magic of 2 makes a notable addition to this new series of unreleased live recordings by Resonance. It is so fine that we must wish for more of the same in the future.
The 23-page CD booklet is illustrated with beautiful photography, including shots of the 1982 event taken by the fine photojournalist Tom Copi. There's plenty to hear, read and see with The Magic Of Two, which is also available as a digital download and as a two-LP set on 180-gram vinyl that plays at 45 r.p.m. speed for improved fidelity. This is one of those recordings that's easy to love - again and again.
Satin Doll sounds more integrated. Tracks 5 and 6 are solos, respectively by Flanagan and Byard. This feels like a breath of fresh air. The pianists return to solos in tracks 8 to 11, with Flanagan and Byard taking two tunes apiece. For all his solos, Flanagan tastefully chooses tunes by Billy Strayhorn.
Tommy Flanagan was a Jazz Poet with his impeccable lyrical touch, Jaki Byard was a jazz prophet with his gift for shaping jazz's future by gazing into its historical past. Teamed for the first and only time as a duo on The Magic of 2, recorded in 1982 at San Francisco's Keystone Korner, the piano greats bask in each other's definitive style to exhilarating effect.
Liner Note Authors: Dan Morgenstern; Diane Byard; Howard Mandel; Renee Rosnes; Todd Barkan; Zev Feldman; Bill Charlap.
Recording information: Keystone Korner, San Francisco, CA (02/07/1982).
Photographers: Brian McMillen; Tom Copi; Kathy Sloane.