Summarizing the accomplishments of Dave Holland and Kenny Barron does neither justice, but their pasts are worth mention. The bassist and pianist, respectively, have amassed expansive catalogs as sidemen and bandleaders, much of which reads like a who's who of jazz legends. Holland contributed to Miles Davis' early forays into fusion before forming Circle with Chick Corea and Anthony Braxton. Barron cut his teeth in Dizzy Gillespie's band, worked frequently with Yusef Lateef and Ron Carter, and in 1980, scored Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing. Holland played with Thelonious Monk; Barron paid tribute to him with Sphere. Both worked with Stan Getz. That's the reductive sampler.
The depth and variation of Holland and Barron's collective résumé is better reflected by their present work. Poised and polished, the duo is balance personified. Each gracefully explores the melodic and rhythmic aspects of his instrument, adding generous complements and intriguing counterpoint. Their communication is understated but clear. Having contributed individually to the evolution of jazz for more than 40 years, neither has much left to prove. That makes the casual ease of their pair all the more poignant. —Bryan C. Reed