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Alan Pasqua: My New Old Friend (2005)

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Alan Pasqua: My New Old Friend How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

When he was a member of drummer Tony Williams' jazz/fusion Lifetime unit back in the 1970s, pianist Alan Pasqua frequently conveyed a delicate touch when performing on electric keys. Yet after all these years, he is first and foremost a jazz pianist. With his latest piano trio effort, Pasqua garners sensitive support from the top-flight rhythm section of bassist Darek Oles and drummer Peter Erskine.

A supreme melody maker, Pasqua imparts a touch of class during these eleven carefully constructed works. Owing to the Bill Evans school, the artist's elegant voicings shine forth, regardless of pitch or tempo. And whether he's executing introspective or heartwarming chord clusters and delicate single-note runs, Pasqua conveys a noticeable sense of self-assuredness.

The trio steps it up on the perky, swing vamp "One More Once, featuring Erskine's solo spot intermixed with lower-end harmonies and Pasqua's brisk right-hand runs. One of the standout works is the trio's jazzy, ballad-like treatment of singer Glen Campbell's late 1960s pop hit "Wichita Lineman (composed by Jimmy Webb). Here, Pasqua delves deep into the primary theme via quaintly arranged arpeggios topped off with bittersweet single note lines. Nonetheless, the band explores various rhythmic patterns amid disparate angles throughout the preponderance of this indubitably appealing studio date.

Track Listing: You Must Believe In Spring, Barcelona, Highway, All The Things You Are, My New Old Friend, Body And Soul, One More Once, Vienna, Wichita Lineman, Stick Slap, Smile.

Personnel: Alan Pasqua: piano; Darek Oles: bass; Peter Erskine: drums.

Record Label: Cryptogramophone

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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