"PORTRAIT IN JAZZ"
BILL EVANS TRIO
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This CD is a true classic widely acclaimed as containing some of the best recorded jazz of all time.
The Bill Evans Trio, with bassist Scott La Faro and drummer Paul Motian, was innovative. They developed the art of interplay to the point of collective improvisation. The special bond between Evans and La Faro was ruptured with La Faro's death at age 25 in an automobile accident. It left Evans devastated and he didn't perform for months after.
Recorded originally in 1959, Evans includes his interpretations of standards. My favorite happens to be "When I Fall in Love" which he plays at a very slow, contemplative tempo. But that is just one of the nine cuts. Some of them include "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Spring Is Here," " Autumn Leaves," "Witchcraft," "Blue In Green," "Someday My Prince Will Come," and "What Is This Thing Called Love."
In addition, there are four bonus tracks of different takes on the above mentioned songs.
"THE MASTERS RETURN"
FABIAN ZONE TRIO
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Bassist Christian Fabian leads a trio recording enhanced by a pair of outstanding guest artists; Trumpeter Jimmy Owens and tenor saxophonist Andres Boiarsky.
When you add pianist Mike Longo who wrote and worked with Dizzy Gillespie and drummer Louis Hayes, you have a formidable unit. So this group is more than able to tackle compositions by masters Gillespie, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Herbie Hancock.
Fabian uses his bow with a gorgeous treatment of "My One and Only Love." "Bebop," a Gillespie tune, casts trumpeter Owens in the lead soloist role with a nice up tempo piece of work. Fabian also includes three of his own compositions. "Morning After" addresses the artistry of Russian born Boiarsky to shine and as well as that of Longo on piano.
Other tunes include "Milestones," "All Blues," "Billie's Bounce," "Chameleon" and more.
"CRY FOR PEACE"
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The leader of this band, guitarist Peter Lerner, may have an unfamiliar name. If so, that shouldn't deter anyone from purchasing this excellent real jazz album.
Not only is Lerner a fine soloist and composer, he is accompanied by some big name players deserving that label. My favorite young tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander is on hand along with his front line colleague, trumpeter James Rotondi. They were longtime members of the Charles Earland band. David Hazeltine plays organ and piano and has a growing reputation as a heavyweight musician; bassist Ed Howard and drummer Victor Lewis round out the rhythm section. Steve Davis' trombone is a significant presence on several tracks.
As you might expect, the first cut, "Lerner Burner," is finger snapper. That was our introduction to Hazeltine's organ work. Both Lerner and Alexander get in great solo licks.
"Billie's Bounce" follows and exposes the gentle side of Lerner as he soothes the listener with his sense of melody. Trombonist Davis excels on "Inner Drum," a nice medium tempo selection. Lerner's guitar chops are no more obvious than on Gigi Gryce's "Minority." A warm sound emanates with a perceptible Wes Montgomery influence.
Dick Bogle hosts a weekly jazz radio show Mondays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 89.1 KMHD FM.