Alan Pasqua / Dave Carpenter / Peter Erskine: Standards (2008)
This jazz trio recording consists of pianist Alan Pasqua, bassist Dave Carpenter and drummer Peter Erskine. An ongoing cooperative trio with two other releases to its credit2000's Live at Rocco and 2002's Badlands, both released on Erkine's Fuzzy Music label, this largely intimate session was recorded with only two KMF stand-up tube microphones.
The task of selecting standards relies upon a choice largely from the Great American Songbook, with the addition of two jazz tunesDizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma" and the Scandinavian traditional, "Dear Old Stockholm." With the exception of a bright version of Kern/Fields' "The Way You Look Tonight"opening the disc and well done in a modal Bill Evans styleand a mid-tempo take on Kurt Weill's "Speak Low," there is only an up-tempo reading of Fragos/Baker/Gasparre's "I Hear A Rhapsody."
The bulk of the album consists of ruminative and probing analyses of ballads, including an effective variation on Lerner and Loewe's "I Could Have Danced All Night," Jimmy Van Heusen's "Deep in a Dream" and Dorsey/Madeira's "I'm Glad There is You." "Con Alma" is given a subtle Latin patina. Of special interest is the introspective version of "Dear Old Stockholm," which does reach mid-tempo by the second half but provides new insight with its down-tempo beginning.
These three musicians all exhibit a keen interactivity and insight in their approach, with the special touch of Erskine's brushwork, Carpenter's steady pulse and Pasqua's imaginative melodies and soloing.
Track Listing: The Way You Look Tonight; Dear Old Stockholm; Deep In A Dream; Con Alma; It Never Entered My Mind; Speak Low; I'm Glad There Is You; I Hear A Rhapsody; I'm Old Fashioned; I Could Have Danced All Night.
Personnel: Alan Pasqua: piano; Dave Carpenter: bass; Peter Erskine: drums.