Satoko Fujii, piano
Myra Melford, piano
I've been a longtime fan of both Ms. Fujii and Ms. Melford's work, but I had a moment's hesitation before I ordered this CD. Could they mesh their approaches and create something special? Would this be a case of "two great tastes that taste great together"? (My apologies to Reese's, and whoever's reading this.) I needn't have worried; to say Under The Water exceeded my expectations is putting it mildly.
Recorded live at Maybeck Studio in Berkeley, CA by the redoubtable Myles Boisen, the program consists of three duets and one solo performance from each artist. The solos are tremendous; you would expect that. It's the duets that just knocked me out. There's no meandering going on here, no sense of each feeling the other out. Fujii and Melford have a single-mindedness and sense of direction that's astonishing. At times it sounds like one very, very good pianist is playing and it's hard to separate the contributions.
As soon as the CD finished, I couldn't wait to hear it again. One of the very best I've heard this year.