This date, recorded in San Francisco this past April, offers the classic trio approach to jazz. Thoughts of early Bill Evans are evoked, but I know why I love this record. Chen reminds me so much of Hank Jones. Her use of a restrained balance and light attack (like Jones) says simple melodies are the best way to convey feel. She takes Jerome Kern’s “The Way You Look Tonight” at a swift pace. Her once around the block driving both one and two-handed pauses then pounces on a bop improvisation that seeps unadulterated joy. Same with Cole Porter’s “Easy To Love.” Plenty of familiar things here to draw you into Chen’s world; Johnny Mercer, Sammy Cahn, Hoagy Carmichael, and Rogers and Hart. She even goes at Oscar Peterson’s “Tricotism” with the two-handed acrobatics familiar to Peterson fans. There’s plenty here to savor including bassist Mark Kennedy’s composition “Two Bit Tango” and Jobim’s “Once I Loved” for some South American flavor. This must be a working trio as Chen, Kennedy, and drummer Tom Hassett negotiate each track as all-to-familiar friends. The disc ends with the Chen original “Emperor’s Old Clothes,” a blues that walks a late night line where you are trying to sneak back into your house after everyone is asleep, your shoes are off, you’ve had a bit too much to drink, but man you got that rhythm echoing in you soul. Beautiful Record. Find Susan Chen at Evander Music .
Track Listing: Too Marvelous For Words; One Morning In May; Tricotism; I Should Care; Easy To Love; Don
Personnel: Susan Chen
Record Label: Evander Music
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