Buddy Montgomery: Here Again
Montgomery is from the generation of piano players between bebop pioneers Monk and Powell and 1960s innovators Tyner, Hancock, and Corea. And he sounds like it: His smooth, bluesy playing fits firmly within the post-bop tradition with a strong Latin influence. He is an extremely quiet, economical player not given to loud flourishes or aggressive physical attacks on the keyboard. Montgomery's instrumental virtuosity doesn't leap out at you. His strengths are more subtle. Indeed, this is one of the quieter, more thoughtful albums of the year. And the type of album that may require several listenings to appreciate fully.
If the album has one weakness, it is the relative sameness of the compositions and tempos. Even the usually up-tempo chestnut "That Old Black Magic" is transformed here into an almost unrecognizable slow ballad. One or two fast numbers, or a straight out blues, might have livened things up a bit. But, with solid backing from bassist Jeff Chambers and drummer Ray Appleton, Montgomery has made a fine album of quiet, soulful piano music.
Record Label: Sharp Nine Records