Origin Arts: The Tsunami from Seattle
The very best music comes in small and simple packages. Pianist/vocalist Paul West has been a fixture on the Seattle jazz and lounge scene since the late 1960s. Being Alone is a collection of Tin Pan Alley and Jazz Standards performed with a direct and straight-ahead piano/vocal style. This is certainly nightclub music honed to perfection by a master of the craft. Mr. West plumbs the Canon from Fats Waller ("Truckin'") to Sonny Rollins ("Sonnymoon for Two"). Absolutely cabaret to the core, Mr. West has a sure voice, great delivery, and will remind listeners of a Left Coast Mose Allison. "Miss You, Mr. Mercer," "Angel Eyes," and the discs two medleys ("Round Midnight/Yesterdays" and "How Deep is the Ocean/Sonnymoon for Two") are all highlights as is West's instrumental take on Gershwin's "Someone the Watch Over Me" (could a solo piano disc be far behind?).
(OA2 22015, 2004)
Pianist Tim Green leads a very hip piano-guitar quartet on Jeannie's Song , his follow-up to his successful Catching Yourself Gracefully. Guitarist Brian Wilke is given free reign to explore every unlit fusion corners. This is well illustrated on the disc's title cut. Cole Porter's "Dream Dancing" is taken in a slightly more traditional vein. The same can be said for Porter's "Everything I Love." Mal Waldron's "Soul Eyes" is capably executed with a smooth Bossa grace. This quartet is going places in both the mainstream and adult contemporary arenas. We should all be watching for more from Tim Green.