I paid twenty dollars to hear Jeff Harshbarger and Bobby Watson perform "Donna Lee." Their spectacular duet on the Charlie Parker composition was worth every penny. It was part of the Bach Aria Soloists concert Saturday at White Recital Hall.
While I liked the concert a bit more than Libby Hanssen, I generally concur with her proper review for The Star. She's right to suggest, for instance, that renditions of Guinga material like "Senhorinha" were a bit stiff, but the opportunity to hear Brazilian music in a Kansas City concert hall still represents a rare treat.
My primary criticism concerns a format that gave the concert an oddly disjointed feel. The musicians left the stage between each selection. Apparently mistaking an extended break after the second piece for intermission, several people in the audience of approximately 400 exited the theater. The unnecessarily complicated process killed precious momentum. It's another reason why, as Hanssen noted, the evening felt "more constrained than inventive."
One final note- I need more harpsichord in my life.
(Original image of Jeff Harshbarger and Bobby Watson by Plastic Sax.)