Between them working with a deep who's who of jazz greats as well as issuing extensive catalogs of their own albums as band leaders, Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes each have forged respected careers as essential contemporary jazz pianists. When they married three years ago, becoming a statistically rare, two-grand-pianos-in-the-living-room family, they also began doing dual-piano performances, which led to their new Double Portrait (Blue Note). Neatly averting a 20-finger Gordian knot, Charlap and Rosnes instead display a pair of artistic souls entwined, playing with such obvious empathy that they often sound like a single entity. The carryover of chemistry from personal to musical results in a crystalline flow from one keyboard to the other in the musical cascades that characterize Lyle Mays's opening piece, "Chorinho." Splashing Brazilian colors also sparkle on the follow-up, Jobim's "Double Rainbow," a frolic with just a touch of saudade. The pianos' spare eloquence of leave acres of emotion-wracked space at the heart of Gershwin's "My Man's Gone Now," a wrenchingly beautiful ode to heartache. The sole original, Rosnes's "The Saros Cycle," sports a curious circular melodic structure, reflecting its sci-fi name. The disc concludes with a tongue-in-cheek version of Frank Loesser's "Never Will I Marry," a sprightly dialogue between a couple who are clearly on the same wavelength.
Thu., June 3, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2010