9. Romantic Intermezzo from Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra

This is based on the theme of the fourth movement of Bela Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. In the original Bartok version, this beautiful romantic theme is interrupted by a raucous marching band, but we didn't do that part.

We performed it as a duet with Regina Carter on violin and me on piano. Although my deepest training is on guitar, I have a strong connection to the piano. I started at the age of three, so playing piano feels natural to me.

Regina is an amazing violinist who combines my favorite elements from the jazz side and the classical side. Doing improvisations of ‘classical’ compositions often means spelling out more than just chord symbols. In this case, I wrote out many of the voicings I was using so we could improvise in a cohesive way. The result was a dense page of notes, which was probably a lot to drop on Regina at the last minute, but she rose to the occasion admirably. She was able to use the dense notations I gave her while still playing in a very heartfelt and musical way. The sensitivity of her playing on this recording is exquisite.