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Joe Augustine has been performing in a variety of settings at a variety of venues for more than 25 years. Along the way he has recorded several albums for different labels. His latest CD features a play list of his originals with familiar jazz and pop material. One hears in Augustine's straight from the shoulder attack echoes of Erroll Garner and Oscar Peterson especially on tunes where he can show his virtuosity and interpretative technique. This comes through on such tunes as "Love for Sale" and a coy "Peel Me a Grape." With respect to the latter, John Nielsen in his liner notes describes it as a tune "made famous by Diane Krall". Mr. Nielsen never heard of Anita O' Day. But its chord structure offers intriguing possibilities and Augustine takes full advantage of the opportunities it offers. Most songs follow the same medium tempo used for these tunes. One exception is an expressive "Nature Boy", where Augustine is impeccable in the way he uses spacing between notes and measures. Others include a Latin original "Samba de Boyz" and an aptly dubbed "Funk `n` Games". Augustine show his romantic slightly melancholy side with a lively "No More Tears", another original.
There's nothing new or innovative on this album, either in the original material or the way Augustine addresses the standards, He leaves no new thumb print on the music which would make it uniquely his own. At the same time he and his able friends offer a solid, satisfying session which means that this album has a lot going for it given what's coming out of the jazz production grist mill these days. Recommended. Visit Joe at www. joeaugustine.com.
Track Listing: Groove Attitude; Night Train; Cool Days/Jazz Nights; Fever; (On This) Special Day; Samba de Boyz; Nature Boy; Peel Me a Grape; St. Thomas; Funk `n' Games; Love for Sale; No More Tears