Trombonists Jay Ashby and Steve Davis have played together in various jazz ensembles over the years. Their physical, biographical and musical similarities have lead to many instances of being confused for each other, and is the source of the title of their first duet release, Mistaken Identity. The two have a wonderful chemistry that comes across in the recording, whether they’re playing uptempo swing or beautiful ballads. Both musicians play large-bore trombones, so for identification purpose they are positioned in alternate stereo channels, with Davis heard in the left side and Ashby on the right. Whatever the side, they produce wonderful blend of sound. The menu of tunes on the project is primarily the product of their individual or combined contributions, with a sprinkle of compositions by other composers, including those of Benny Golson, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Neal Hefti. They’re accompanied by a solid rhythm section of talents on a project that wonderfully presents the versatility of the trombone by two of its great contemporary practitioners.

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Francisco Mela