Jim Rattigan is one of the UK’s leading French horn players and widely recognised as a pioneer of the jazz French horn. Over the course of his career, he has performed in many different types of ensemble but never the duo setting. Following some informal playing sessions with pianist Ivo Neame, guitarist Nick Costley-White and pianist/bandleader Hans Koller, the Duos project grew organically. These sessions also provided Rattigan the opportunity to develop his love of the standard repertoire.
Three new recordings make up the box set Duos: Dialogues with Neame, You Must Believe In Spring with Costley-White and Thelonious Monk with Hans Koller. The seven tracks on Dialogues include music written by Rattigan (‘Elegy’), Neame (‘Passing Point’) and composers as diverse as Glazunov’s (‘Reverie’) and Wayne Shorter (‘Infant Eyes’). You Must Believe In Spring features twelve standards inspired by the work of Jim Hall and Bob Brookmeyer including ‘My Funny Valentine’ and ‘Body and Soul’. Koller’s deep knowledge of Thelonious Monk’s repertoire has long inspired Rattigan. Ten tracks from Monk’s seventy-plus originals were chosen for the album Thelonious Monk, including classics such as ‘Round Midnight’ as well as lesser known ‘Light Blue’ and ‘Trinkle Tinkle’.