Larry Ham: Just Me, Just You (2008)
His left hand on "Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered" and "The Ring" demonstrates more than a simple timekeeper's touch or conception: it's a collaborator in Ham's approach to the tune's interpretation. The subtle modulation of dynamics and the rhythmic variations are typical of Ham's level of sophistication, a refined level beyond the reach of most of his contemporaries. He's a pianist with deep jazz and classical resources and exquisite technique.
Ham's bluesy "Ridin' the Blues" does suggest limitations to his current range. A quibble perhaps, considering the entire release, but certainly Hank Jones would be a lesser master without the blues fully within his emotional range. Overall, Just Me, Just You provides an hour's worth of evidence that there's much to look forward to with this subtle pianist. How good he will become appears to be an open question.
Personnel: Larry Ham: piano.
Record Label: Arbors Records