Musical synergy was evident from the first two notes of Thelonious Monk’s ‘Bemsha Swing’ that were played by guitarist James Kitchman and pianist Bruno Heinen without any count-in, prior discussion, or eye contact. This was the opening night of a monthly residency held in one of London’s subterranean jazz clubs back in 2017.
The duo has since developed an improvisational language in-common, taking influence from the chronology of great guitar/piano duos in jazz: Jim Hall and Bill Evans; through to Fred Hersch and Julian Lage.
Their debut album Rain Shadows – a carefully balanced brew of original compositions and improvisations was released in 2023 via the Ubuntu Music label.
“The empathic relationship between Kitchman’s guitar and Bruno Heinen’s piano – forged across duo residencies – is naturally crucial. Heinen and Kitchman very much have their own voices, their own world. And we are welcomed in to relish it.”
BBC Radio 3
“This album is different from Undercurrent but in many ways it’s similar: in its near-telepathy between the two players; in its lyricism; in its fluency and tasteful restraint. If [Bill] Evans and[Jim] Hall were around today, I like to think they’d dig this album too.”
London Jazz News
“Bruno Heinen – one of the very best jazz pianists in the UK at the very highest level technically and artistically – superb in recent times in duo with the fast rising guitarist James Kitchman.”