Tenorist Jimmy Haperin and bassist Dominic Duval have teamed up for a number of excellent recordings, with or without a drummer, devoted to the music of Monk and Trane. The latest to be released is Changing Tranes (CIMP 390), recorded in 2009.
For this one they scale back to the duo setting to explore the middle-period music of Coltrane. So there are such pieces as "Like Sonny," "Syeeda's Song Flute," "Countdown," and others not often recorded these days.
As with previous related projects the small-group format and their own inclinations allow for creative latitude. They work within the changes for the most part, spinning some very inventive improvisations on and around the songs. Head themes can be loosely or more strictly stated, or dispensed with occasionally to get right to the improvising.
This is another very good outing. Jimmy and Dominic react to one another dynamically. It is remarkable to hear Dominic's elaborate, fully developed way around the walking concept. He adds and subtracts to the pulse, solos as he keeps or implies the four-square soundings along with everything else he is doing. Jimmy waxes lucid, loose and exploratory yet holds to the basic framework of the changes implicitly or explicitly. He is inspired and sounds great to boot.
It's a remarkable performance. One of the very best in the series. Get this one and support the artists and the small-scale but essential CIMP operations.