Bill Charlap & Renee Rosnes
“Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together” is a famed documentary about New Orleans piano giants Tuts Washington, Professor Longhair and Allen Toussaint. Fortunately for us, Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes do, indeed, play together on this warm, engaging release. The married couple has long résumés as solo artists and accompanists; Charlap directed The Blue Note 7, which played here last year. If the recording reflects their marriage, then it shows how respect for one another’s space while working together leads to marital bliss. Except for Rosnes’ “The Saros Cycle,” the repertoire is all jazz and American songbook standards. They open with almost-classical interpretations of Lyle Mays’ “Chorinho” and Jobim’s “Double Rainbow.” Their interpretation of Gershwin’s classic “My Man’s Gone Now” is meditative and introspective. They close with what must have been an ironic choice for them, Frank Loesser’s lilting “Never Will I Marry.” The Chagall cover painting showing lovers floating above a town captures the session’s spirit well.