Guitarist Lewis Winn and bassist Jon Gagan began their working relationship some 21 years ago, combining their mutual love of swing jazz and the art of working as a duo. The pair have performed together on countless occasions over the past two-plus decades, but it was only recently that they sat down to compile and record material for their highly anticipated release, Two Tone (6161). Simply put, the album is a stunning collection of 10 original compositions recorded 'live,' offering an air of spontaneity that's graceful but never understated. The compositions themselves are complex and inviting, but it's the fact that both Winn and Gagan are expert arrangers that makes their official recorded debut one of the warmest local releases of recent memory. On Winn's 'S.O.S.' for instance, it's the guitarist's willingness and ability to lay discrete backdrops for Gagan's masterful fretless work to shine through that makes the song more than just memorable. Winn and Gagan explore and commit to a wide variety of jazz influences here, even tossing subtle hints of reggae and fusion into the mix (particularly true of tracks such as 'Wiggin' and 'Woofer')to create a breathtaking freshness. And somehow, the duo avoid 'trading licks,' a pigeonhole that distracts the listener from the point of the music in the first place: interplay between instruments, rather than simply alternating solo sections.
1) The Duchess of Walter Street
4) Highway Hum
6) Woofer (Part 2)
8) Lost ; Found