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The rest of the disc contains single tracks authored by both pianists, and one standard, Poinciana, which seemed a little out of place at first but is given a gentle yet busy treatment that allows Gould and Ward-Steinman to exhibit their cohesion as a duo -- in the wrong hands this could become messy, but the control of textures here is never in doubt. Lewis gets other slots with Skating in Central Park, a jazz waltz which does what it says on the label, Lewis's attractive tune being propelled lightly along by both pianists; and Milano, which shows off Gould doing what he does best -- thoughtful and poised down-tempo pieces with a slight air of romantic melancholy about them.

Ward-Steinman's originals are Skyline, on which he solos and seems to somehow supply a sense of drums and bass being there even though they're not (track 6 at 1:44 will give an idea of the somewhat Brubeckish feel to it); and Under Capricorn, a latin-tinged piece reminiscent of the Milhaud of Scaramouche. Gould bookends the album with a Prologue, almost folk-like in its simplicity and self-containedness, and an Epilogue.

Listen -- David Ward-Steinman: Skyline (track 6, 1:44-2:44)
© 2007 Helicon Records

Assurance and experience pour out of this album, anyone expecting to hear virtuosity for its own sake will be disappointed as these two players have been around too long to indulge in cheap tricks. They approach their material with respect and thoughtfulness but never do proceedings become dry or academic. They have been clearly recorded by Martin Wright and Vaughan McAlley of Move Records, who provide a recorded ambience well-suited to two players who specialise in shades of touch, not overwhelming power playing. Kudos to all for getting it all to disc, especially the Solal.

Copyright © 3 April 2008 Paul Sarcich, London UK


In Memoriam - Tony Gould - David Ward-Steinman

KL 5146 Stereo NEW RELEASE 66'00" 2007 Helicon Records

Tony Gould, piano; David Ward-Steinman, piano

Tony Gould: Prologue; Martial Solal: Suite for Two Pianos (one; two; three); John Lewis: Skating in Central Park; David Ward-Steinman: Skyline; David Ward-Steinman: Under Capricorn; Buddy Bernier/Nat Simon: Poinciana; John Lewis: Milano; John Lewis: In Memoriam - concert piece for two pianos (part I - improvisation; part II); Tony Gould: Epilogue



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