A JAZZ DUET
(NA1007)

Liz Gorrill, piano
Charley Krachy, tenor saxophone


On "A Jazz Duet" Gorrill teams up with tenor saxophonist Charley Krachy (another Tristanoite, to judge from his clear, thin, Marsh-like intonation) for four brief free improvisations and six lengthier interpretations of Tristano-favored standards, including a slowed-down, beautifully eclipsed "How High The Moon".....Gorrill slam dances between registers with such aplomb that her duets with Krachy occasionally remind you not only of Tristano and Marsh, but of Cecil Taylor and Jimmy Lyons. In other words, "A Jazz Duet" summons up memories of piano-and-saxophone duets you only THINK you've heard --- testimony to its power, if not to its originality.

Francis Davis
The Village Voice, June 1991



Pianist Gorrill and tenor saxophonist Krachy, playing live at Greenwich House in New York City, are verymuch out of the Lennie Tristano school of cool, angular improvisation, with Gorrill sometimes going a touch further into something darker and more dissonant. She often favors the lower octaves, and isn't afraid to take chances --- witness the not completely successful block chord atonality on "All Of Me," where she extablishes an intriguing but limited structure which defies her attempts at development. Elsewhere, though, her ideas and execution are captivating. Krachy has a softer tone which, at his most lyrical, echoes Stan Getz (especially his unaccompanied solo on "How High The Moon"), but he is more often inflectionless and dispassionate in the manner of early Lee Konitz or Warne Marsh. Gorrill and Kracy work well together, and the collective mood which they create is not at all bloodless and academic (as one might expect) but rather melancholy, ethereal, and sometimes mysteriously threatening. Among other things, this music displays the courage of its aesthetic convictions, and it's a welcome antidote to all the faceless neo-bop and fuzak which seem to constitute about 90% of recent jazz releases.

Bill Tilland
Option, Nov/Dec 1990


Piano and tenor sax interplay is the focus of this performance recorded in concert at New York City's Greenwich House late in 1989. Whether re-examining standards or unfolding their own compositions, both musicians open themselves to the music and its possibilities for interpretation. For all the individuality and freedom of movement, there's a strong, confident sense of direction in the work of both players. In addition to the title piece, a brief moment of free association, the duo's originals include "Sunstorm", a brief burst of fireworks; "Passionate Weather," a more spontaneous response to the moment without being threatening, for all its power; "Blues For A Lost Moment," hinting at the essence but never overtly stating the trademarks of the blues.

It's a demanding and creative performance.

Lois Moody
Ottawa Citizen, April 1991



Liz Gorrill is a strong pianist whose lines brim with conviction and resilience. She utilizes the whole keyboard (and the pedals) to construct dense clusters of sound, chords that may not always lie easily but make you sit up and listen. She does not soothe with pretty lines but attempts to make every solo an adventure, often succeeding. She seems to strip every layer of meat off the bones of a melody, worrying it until she gets right to the marrow.

This exploratory approach from the methodology of Lennie Tristano but with a most personal interpretation, makes heavy demands on the listener. Concentration has to be up front and the journey can sometimes be harrowing, for this music consistently challenges but frequently
rewards....

The two instrumental voices merge satisfyingly on "317 East 32nd Street" where Gorrill offers not only a bass line, but also apt commentary for the saxophonist in cleverly obscured "Out Of Nowhere" territory.

Most of the structures are familiar, but they merely serve as secure foundations for daring improvisation. Dynamics are important in such intimate music, and Liz Gorrill's variety of touch becomes an essentialingredient in ensuring that the performances move through many layers and engender subtle shifts of mood. With all its complexity, the music maintains a momenturm and inner logic that is a tribute to the participants. "How High The Moon," that perennial jazz racer, has its character reversed by a slow, reflective treatment in which no pet licks are used to escape hatches.

A most stimulating set, at its best, perhaps, when the duo swings unselfconciously and with considerable exhilaration on "My Melancholy Baby."

Mark Gardner
Jazz Journal, July 1991