Joan Hickey: Between the Lines (2006)
It's a helluva start; and on this set of trio, quartet and quintet offeringsthe rhythm section of Hickey, bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Dana Hall remains the samethe energy level never wanes.
Hickey's piano style goes from dense, percussive and explosively gregarious to delicate and spare, angular and quirky. Her trio take on Bud Powell's "The Fruit" captures the true Powell spirit: the sparkle and bounce, the off-kilter ebullience. Gershwin's "The Man I Love," with Wojciechowski on sax, is a highlight, providing an adventurous, sweet-and-sour exploration of the familiar melody, taking it apart, putting it back together again.
The trio gives the classic "My Funny Valentine" an oddly appealing reggae rhythm. The group also covers Joe Zawinul's "Midnight Mood"; Paul Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," slightly warped, but still recognizable; and the Peter Green-penned Carlos Santana vehicle, "Black Magic Woman." The set also includes three Hickey originals: the previously mentioned "Herbris," the pretty and introspective "Francesca," and the hard-bopping "Contemporaneous."
An inspired set of mainstream sounds.
Track Listing: Herbris; With a Song in My Heart; Francesca; The Man I Love; My Funny Valentine; Midnight Mood; Black magic Woman; Bridge Over Troubled Water; Contemporaneous; The Fruit.
Personnel: Joan Hickey: piano; Dennis Carroll: bass; Dana Hall: drums; John Wojciechowski: saxophone; Tito Carrillo: trumpet.
Record Label: OA2 Records