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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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AL GREY

Centerpiece

Telarc Jazz CD 83379

 

 



 

1   Diz Related
2   South Side
3   I Wish I Knew
4   Homage To Norman
5   Nascimento
6   S.W.B. Blues
7   Lester Leaps In
8   Bewitched Bothered And Bewildered
9   Centerpiece
 
Al Grey – Trombone
Harry "Sweets" Edison –Trumpet
Jerome Richardson –Alto sax, tenor sax, flute
Junior Mance – Piano
Ben Brown – Bass
Bobby Durham – Drums

 

Reissued in Telarc's "Discover Jazz" mid-price series, this is a cheerfully informal session recorded in March 1995 at New York's Blue Note club. Most of the tracks are easygoing swingers, but Bewitched is a ballad featuring Al Grey's persuasive trombone (with a lovely half-chorus from pianist Junior Mance) and Barry Harris's Nascimento is a bossa nova with some flawed notes in the theme statement.

The occasional gaffes can be put down to anno domini, since both Grey and Edison were already veterans (Al Grey was 69 and Harry Edison ten years his senior). Yet both men play elegantly most of the time – for example, in Al Grey's composition Homage to Norman (with Al quoting from People Will Say We're in Love) and in I Wish I Knew where Edison's plaintive trumpet pleads as well as singing and swinging. Edison finishes the tune with his unique long-drawn-out diminuendo. Jerome Richardson plays with workmanlike expertise and the rhythm section acquits itself well. Junior Mance's piano playing is sensitive in accompanying as well as creative in soloing.

This is not an essential album for your collection but, if you want a session of good-natured mainstream swing, this will do nicely.

Tony Augarde

 



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