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With the rapid evolution of jazz in the past generation, a simple performance approach offers the benefit of showing from where we have come. Denmark-cum-New York City native vocalist Tine Bruhn joins pianist Johnny O'Neal
's band) and saxophonist Stacy Dillard for a collection of ten tried-and-true standards, simply and elegantly presented within the intimate confines of the duo-trio format. Part of understanding how jazz got where it is today is an understanding the original intent of the composers of the canon of jazz standards, before they were transmogrified, first by the likes of saxophonists Charlie Parker
, and more recently beyond, as exemplified by the brilliant output of labels like ECM and Winter & Winter. Bruhn's approach is from that point of simplicity, where she presents the music as written, demonstrating the rich ground from which modern jazz emerged.
Bruhn's assembly, all ballads, have been the vehicles of many instrumental interpretations, particularly saxophonists. Alto saxophonist Art Pepper
favored "My Foolish Heart," and Charlie Parker enjoyed reworking "Easy To Love." Bruhn's performance of the same material reveals why these were popular instrumentals. Her voice possesses the paradox of vulnerability, burnt with a certain durable texture. O'Neal's piano support is both directive and supportive. He reveals those characteristics of the best vocal accompanistsunderstated harmonic support with an inventive solo space, as exemplified by the likes of pianists Tommy Flanagan