Tea for Two

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Criss Cross
WORKS: Tea for Two
PERFORMER: Walt Weiskopf (tenor saxophone), Andy Fusco (alto saxophone), etc
CATALOGUE NO: 1265

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Two saxophones and rhythm section, a perfect combination, and pairing the alto and tenor in these situations isn’t so often encountered. Weiskopf and Fusco are old sparring partners, usually in the context of the tenorman’s sextet records, and on an astutely sequenced set of tunes they work up a bubbling empathy that has the feel of bebop gladiators having a lark. ‘Tea For Two’ itself is rewritten to expand the melody until its buttons are bursting, yet it comes up right without a stagger.

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Cole Porter’s ‘So In Love’ is sprung off a bass vamp and a Latin groove. Fusco has an itchy, wriggling style on alto, which sits well with Weiskopf’s more studious-sounding though still assertive tenor. It’s all given a fine lift by the rhythm section of Joel Weiskopf (piano), Paul Gill (bass) and the excellent Billy Drummond at the drum kit. Richard Cook