In Duets, bassist Mike Harmon and pianist Paul Bedal offer a vulnerable and exposed set of music compiled from two afternoon sessions, captured in high-fidelity stereo at Ken Christianson's ProMusica in Chicago. The first session occurred in October of 2020 and was some of the first in-person playing the two had done since a forced break due to the Covid pandemic. This resulted in a vivid and serenely caught moment in time, one of deep listening and a felt desire of the musicians' need to communicate the surreal circumstances and their return to the craft.
The album is bookended by two improvisations, each dedication, first to Ken, who created the opportunity and offered his talents as the engineer and creates what many Chicago musicians have come to know as a uniquely focused environment in which to create. And second, one for pianist Masabumi Kikuchi (lovably nicknamed 'Poo'), who had recently passed and was an artistic source of inspiration for both Paul and Mike. In the middle of the album are four covers of the American songbook and jazz standards that seemed to be perfect compositions for the current events and feelings, over which the return to playing together can be felt and heard by the listener.
released May 5, 2023
Mike Harmon - bass
Paul Bedal - piano
One for K.C. and One for Poo by Harmon/Bedal
Falling Grace by Steve Swallow
This Nearly Was Mine by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II
Everything I Love by Cole Porter
The Folks Who Live on the Hill by Oscar Hammerstein, Jerome Kern
Recorded and Mastered by Ken Christianson at ProMusica in Chicago, IL