Pianist Brad Mehldau (b. 1970) and pianist Kevin Hays (b. 1968), friends from high school, playing arrangements by Patrick Zimmerli (a mutual former high school mate) of compositions by Zimmerli, Mehldau, Hays, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman.
I was expecting some sort of contemporary music suite for two pianos, but what I have found and greatly enjoyed is beautiful piano music not that far from other solo piano works by Mehldau, such Elegiac Cycle or even Live in Tokyo or Live in Marciac. So, even if this is not the typical jazz Mehldau has played so far, it still sound totally as a Mehldau work. This because the Mehldau stylistic approach is strongly influencing all arrangements as well as Hays, with his signature crescendos, rhythmic structures, interactions between left and right hands, here taken to an even more complex level thanks to the perfectly matched piano mate. Through all tracks there is a faultless empathic interaction between the two keyboards and their sounds amalgamate as coming from a single instrument. So both pianists take you, the listener, along a musical travel between moments full of energy when the two pianos create a sort of seismic activity, to floating and harmonically enchanting atmospheres.
The recorded sound is quite good and the package is nice with informative liner notes in the form of an interview between Mehldau, Hays and Zimmerli. Totally recommended to any lover of modern (not only jazz) piano. Just one complaint: only 47 minutes of music, I wish there were more.