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Eric Comstock: No One Knows (2005)

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Eric Comstock: No One Knows How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Eric Comstock's third album finds the pianist/vocalist moving deeper into jazz territory with a stellar cast of jazz musicians. The move certainly works; while the band serves in top-notch fashion, Comstock makes it all the more relevant with his ability to phrase and enunciate these pieces the way jazz song should be treated. Stylistic touches apart, he imbues the words with yearning, joy, or pathos to bring in the right shade of emotion.

Comstock says that he loves Duke Elington as much as he does Cole Porter. Ellington is in here, but Porter is not. Paul Simon is, and his "I Do It for Your Love finds a cozy nook as Comstock sings with a facile comfort for the words. A more earthly take that gets Comstock to swing, quite understandably, is the undulating "Hazel's Hips. Some fine work here from Peter Bernstein on guitar that jumps up and shouts.

There is a wistful feeling on "Don't Get Around Much Anymore. Comstock gets deep into the sense of loneliness, a facet stoked by Bernstein with Comstock adding some pensive piano. They go to town when they "Jump for Joy. Comstock gets right into the groove, singing over the bass of Peter Washington, but then in comes Wycliffe Gordon, whose trombone rip-snorts, and Eric Reed, who turns the piano into a rolling barrelhouse of fun. The album pleases on many levels.

Track Listing: Easy on the Heart; To the Ends of the Earth; No One Knows; Dont Get Around Much Anymore; Jump for Joy; Small World; The Night Has a Thousand Eyes; Grievin; Imagination; I do it for your Love; Hazels Hips; When Lights are Low; Old Devil Moon; There Will Never be Another You; If I Had My Druthers; I Hear Music.

Personnel: Eric Comstock?: vocals, piano; Frank Wess?: tenor saxophone, flute; Wycliffe Gordon?: trombone; Eric Reed?: piano (tracks 2, 5, 7, 8, and 10); Peter Bernstein?: guitar; Peter Washington?: bass; Matt Wilson?: drums.

Record Label: Harbinger

Style: Vocal


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