The Bill Charlap Trio: Live At The Village Vanguard (2007)
Bill Charlap delivers on this live date with a trio documented on four previous Blue Note releases. Recorded at the Village Vanguard during the club's weeklong 70th anniversary celebration, this CD pulls together a tasty selection of material and even tastier performances. Charlap with Peter Washington (bass) and Kenny Washington (drums) have worked together for a decade and their chemistry has produced an appealing cohesion.
This is a well-paced offering with solid recitals on every track. The opening number, Gerry Mulligan's "Rocker, is an up-tempo affair that builds with intensity, contrastingly followed by a dreamy version of "Autumn In New York.
The well-chosen selection of material goes on. George Wallington's "Godchild displays Charlap's sense of humor with a number of quotes in his bright solo, ably punctuated by Washington's drums. Bassist Washington's lyric lead highlights the up-tempo "The Lady Is A Tramp while Charlap's solo again bespeaks of humor and a hint of pianist Teddy Wilson.
Charlap gets to the bare bones of "It's Only A Paper Moon, reharmonizing the chords and playing it as a ballad. "My Shining Hour is a lesson in how to exceed the speed limit and not get caught; a showcase for Charlap's fast fingering skills and drummer Washington, who keeps the impossibly rapid beat going.
The CD finishes with Jim Hall's "All Across The City (where piano evokes pictures of the city in the wee small hours), the waltz "While We're Young (done with a light and playful touch) and "Last Night When We Were Young, Charlap staying behind the beat on the latter to produce a breathless effect.
This CD is a well thought-out statement from a unit that works wonderfully well together, enhanced by the inherent energy of a live recording. There's good listening here.
Track Listing: Rocker; Autumn In New York; Godchild; The Lady Is A Tramp; It's Only A Paper Moon; My Shining Hour; All Across The City; While We're Young; Last Night When We Were Young.
Personnel: Bill Charlap: piano; Peter Washington: bass; Kenny Washington: drums.