Listening to Sharrock and Watson interact, we cannot help but notice how intently and productively they are listening to each other. Even the most spontaneous duo music involves more than two presences. A tradition of instrumental engagement is present, enhanced perhaps when cast in a complementary tradition of interpretation surrounding standards, yet no less palpable when the performers author their own materials. Eric Watson, whose expertise in the duo art is rivaled by few contemporary improvisers, has a keen sense of how to confront and complement these forces.
On the three standards here (plus the standard-in-the-making “Calling You” from “Baghdad Café”) Sharrock seizes immediately upon the weight of the lyrics, paying them the respect of cleareyed empathy. The variations she works are subtle yet effective (catch her coming out of the bridge on “You Don’t Know” for example), and the fit of her voice and Watson’s piano is perfect.
Do yourself a favor, listen to track #2. After that you want to hear the entire album.