July 11, 2024

Conversations is Dave Anderson’s first recorded collaboration with guest artist Mike Wingo. This texturally rich recording features acoustic piano and mixed percussion. For this CD, Anderson chose a selection of favorite jazz standards, rearranged for the duo, and several of Dave’s original compositions.

For a number of years, Dave had been interested in exploring the possibilities of a piano and percussion duo. This combination is rarely found in jazz and Dave felt it had unique potential for rhythmic interplay and improvisational freedom. After working with a number of percussionists in the Washington DC area, Dave was drawn to the work of Mike Wingo, who was skilled on a wide array of percussion instruments and fluent in a broad range of musical styles, from jazz to Indonesian Gamelan music.

Over several years of performing together, Dave and Mike recreated their music for the duo. Mike restructured his percussion set-up, adding new hand drums and cymbals. Dave found that he could explore the entire range of the keyboard with a new freedom and created new arrangements and compositions.

This beautifully recorded project documents the first stage of this duo on its creative journey. As you will hear, Conversations has an exciting combination of rhythmic drive, dynamics, and intimacy. The chemistry between these two players is evident throughout this fine recording, along with well-crafted original compositions by Anderson.

“Song of You” is a gorgeous piece with a propelling bounce, that exhibits Anderson’s flowing touch on the ivories, and Wingo’s interactive rhythms. The duo’s ability to almost sense each other’s next move makes this original soar. “Sunrise,” starts out gently, capturing the freshness and peacefulness of early morning. Gradually, the piece builds in rhythmic and harmonic intensity before reprising the main theme and shifting back to a gentler mood.

“Light of Darkness” uses a broad pallet of tonalities to create a more complex feeling, with strong contrasts in both rhythm and harmony. After a dark and dreamy introduction, the piece moves into the rhythmic main section, while carrying the complex opening harmonies along for the ride. This piece also highlights the almost telepathic connection between piano and percussion.

A true delight for any setting and a must have for percussion and piano enthusiasts. Take a moment to have Conversations influence your collection; it will be well worth the pause in your day.

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