Don Thompson / Reg Schwager One Take

A one-word summary of the playing on this disc: impeccable. The rapport between revered bassist Don Thompson and long-time playing partner guitarist Reg Schwager is so highly developed that even the most sophisticated lines and interplay are brought off with effortless grace. The tunes on this starkly staged studio session were penned by the usual suspects from "the great American songbook”: Irving Berlin, Sammy Kahn, Cole Porter, et. al. Their familiarity will be a drawing card for those aficionados of mainstream jazz. But for guitar and bass nerds, the close-up views of these masters’ chops will be worth the price of admission. One thing that detracts from this otherwise well-realised DVD and its companion CD release is the compressed/EQed-to-near-distortion sound quality, a wholly unnecessary "enhancement.” Another is the sterile studio setting; these guys should have been captured in a club before a live audience to add some fire to their playing and some much-needed visual interest. Regardless, the performances, while perhaps not of historic merit, are of unimpeachable quality. (Alma)