Ross Traut & Steve Rodby – The Duo Life (1991)

FrontCover1Ross Traut is a Chicago electric guitarist and bassist play original contemporary fusion; pleasant and nonthreatening. (by Michael G. Nasto)

And Steve Rodby is an american bassist, born December 1954 in Joliet, Illinois, with a seperate career as producer / mixer / editor working out of his Rodby Studios.

And this is their second and last album …

The Duo Life features bassist Steve Rodby and guitarist Ross Traut performing instrumental versions of some pop classics (Bacharach/David’s “Don’t Make Me Over” and a Gershwin medley from Porgy and Bess), along with jazzier tunes by Wayne Shorter and Chick Corea, plus three very nice originals. The arrangements are stripped down, with little or no overdubs. The highlight is the album-opener — a gorgeous version of the Stylistics’ “People Make the World Go Round” (penned by Thom Bell and Linda Creed). The Duo Life is a great album to listen to while relaxing by a fireplace. The music doesn’t overwhelm the listener; it becomes part of the ambience. (by Tim Griggs)

Ross Traut & Steve Rodby01It’s been 26 years or so and yet this recording remains listenable. A solid duo recording without the excesses of some duo recordings where, in order to exhibit virtuosity, times get ragged or things get frenetic and irrelevant. This recording exhibits no such excesses. Instead the song is the thin here. Subtlety, space, ambience and melody. It’s a beautiful recording. Yes, languid. Yes, quiet. Ross Traut is an underrated guitarist who obviously, finds the most direct way to communicate the feeling of the song. He improvises nicely but never to excess Steve Rodby has a way of playing that shows why he has been vital in many of the great recordings he has been on. He lends support and pacing without ever overpowering the songs.

“I Love You Porgy/Bess, You Is My Woman, Now”, “People Make The World Go Around”, “Some Other Time”, “Downstream”, “Desert Air” and “Fall” are real high points. (by ND)

What a great album, recorded by a real underrated duo !

Ross Traut & Steve Rodby02

Steve Rodby (bass)
Ross Traut (guitar)

01. People Make The World Go Round (Bell/Creed) 4.23
02. Some Other Time (Comden/Green/Bernstein) 5.55
03. Don’t Make Me Over (Bacharach/David) 5.00
04. Fall (Shorter) 3.30
05. Trout Stream (Traut) 4.42
06. Music From Porgy And Bess:
06.1 I Loves You Porgy (Gershwin)
06.2 Bess, You Is My Woman (Gershwin) 11.06
07 Down Stream (Traut) 6.23
08. Desert Air (Corea) 5.02
09. Three Wishes (Traut/Rodby) 6.05
10. It’s Gonna Take A Miracle (Randazzo/Weinstein/Stallman) 5.41