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Alex Levin Trio: New York Portraits (2010)

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Alex Levin Trio: New York Portraits Track review of "I Remember You"

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Artists do not evolve in a vacuum. Collectively, they assimilate all they have learned and heard into a new creative paradigm that they call their own. A durable respect for the past characterizes the trio art of pianist Alex Levin. Listening to his collection New York Portraits, the spirits of pianists long gone are present in that fecund humus existing between the notes of Levin's treatments of original and standard compositions alike.

Levin's treatment of Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer
1909 - 1976
composer/conductor
's "I Remember You" is likewise populated by this spirit. The Vince Guaraldi
Vince Guaraldi
Vince Guaraldi
1928 - 1976
piano
opening gives way to a Red Garland
Red Garland
Red Garland
1923 - 1984
piano
block chord interior. Bates solos and Levin enters solo sideways like Erroll Garner
Erroll Garner
Erroll Garner
1921 - 1977
piano
, quoting Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
's "Rhythm-n-ing." Drummer Brian Floody provides a pronounced Philly Joe Jones
Philly Joe Jones
Philly Joe Jones
1923 - 1985
drums
rim-shot beat that recalls those great Garland trios with Jones and Paul Chambers
Paul Chambers
Paul Chambers
1935 - 1969
bass, acoustic
. Levin does this all without slipping into mere imitation. He commands all of these styles and make them his own.

Personnel: Alex Levin: piano; Michael Bates: bass; Brian Floody: drums.

Record Label: Self Produced

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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