A duo of trombone and piano is very rare in jazz, but Jiggs Whigham and Wolfgang Köhler make this combination sound exceptional. In their new CD Two-Too, they play nine different standards -- all without a drummer or bass player. The interplay between Whigham and Köhler creates an exciting musical experience for the listener.
Jiggs Whigham plays extraordinarily on "Two-Too," just as he has done since joining the Glen Miller band at the age of seventeen. There are plenty of moments on the album which demonstrate why Whigham is considered one of the premier trombonists in the world today. He plays with a mellow tone that goes well with the melodically connecting lines he plays. He showcases his mastery of this unwieldy instrument by limiting the sound of the slide to musical moments when a gliss with the slide is in good musical taste. The most impressive aspect of Whigham’s playing is the amount of emotion he plays with. Every solo he plays shows how much passion he has for the great music of jazz. A good example of this is on J.J. Johnson’s "Lament" where Whigham shows the world how a ballad is played.
German pianist Wolfgang Köhler does a nice job at making up the sense of time normally provided by a bass or drummer. He plays rhythmic lines that are interesting, but yet, still fill in the holes of being the only rhythm section player. He listens to Whigham well, and plays little melodic accompaniments that compliment Whigham’s playing nicely. Köhler’s solos are melodically engaging. He lays down rhythms with his right hand that keeps a strong feel.
The playing of Whigham and Köhler combines to make a very special album. I would strongly recommend this album, especially to any trombonist or pianist.