“Two unique musical imaginations on the loose … It’s fascinating.” – Dave Gelly
Piano and clarinet duo albums are few and far between within the jazz canon. In the case of Dancing in the Dark, versatile horn player Tony Coe chose to stick to the clarinet as his saxophone case was too heavy, or so that’s how pianist John Horler recounts it. Our performance in question takes place at St Michael’s Church, Appleby in 2007 as part of the annual Appleby Jazz Festival. The setting is warm and intimate as is the church acoustic, a perfect backdrop for the varied repertoire of standards and original compositions performed. Coe and Horler dance their way through Bill Evans’ ‘Person I Knew’ and Cole Porter’s ‘Night and Day’ as well as Horler’s own ‘Piece for Poppy’, dedicated to his partner Wendy, and Coe’s contrafact to Autumn Leaves, titled ‘Some Other Autumn’. Both players push and pull the well-known melodies to suit the moment yet maintain complete synergy with one another, with Horler’s Bill Tatum-esque chord voicings and meandering lyrical interludes giving platform to Coe’s resounding, cadenza-like improvisations.
Coe recounts this as “one of my very best performances, which would not have been possible without a partner who is one of the finest jazz pianists in the world.” The respect from Horler is mutual, with him noting, “Tony was such a great player that it took sometime for me to realise that I could play a bit too…”
Their trust in each other, in the music, and in the moment, rings true with this live performance ‘Dancing in the Dark’, which finally sees the light of day on LP, CD, and Digital.
Side A 1. Re: Person I Knew 2. Night and Day 3. Body and Soul 4. Some Other Autumn
1. Piece for Poppy 2. Dancing in the Dark 3. Around in Three 4. Blue Monk
Tony Coe: clarinet Joe Horler: piano
Recorded at St Michael’s Church, Appleby, Thursday 26th July 2007 Produced, Engineered and Mixed by Andy Cleyndert
Mastered and cut by Caspar Sutton-Jones and Darrel Sheinman Sleeve illustration by Arthur Bently Graphic design by Alan Foulkes