Tardo Hammer: Hammer Time
Hammer's associates here are two gentleman that seem to be making a lot of the recent piano trio dates being cut at Rudy Van Gelder's studio, bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Leroy Williams. The trio operates as one well-oiled machine and Van Gelder has captured each instrument with the stunning clarity that only he is known for. As for the repertoire, it should come to no surprise that Monk, Dameron, and Powell are heard here. However, bebop is not all that this pianist is about, as the mellifluous opening to Mancini's "Moment to Moment" reveals. It's no wonder that vocalists such as Abbey Lincoln and Chris Connor have found Hammer's accompaniment to be so rewarding. In addition, we get two of Hammer's own tunes, along with the pianist's tasty arrangements provided for each standard. The closing "You Leave Me Breathless" turns out to be an apt choice, as one gets the impression of experiencing a whole lot of piano over the disc's generous 67-minute duration.
Track Listing: Gnid, No Problem, Reflections, Ski Ball, Moment to Moment, I Concentrate on You, Plan B, Time, Celia, You Leave Me Breathless
Personnel: Tardo Hammer, piano; Dennis Irwin, bass; Leroy Williams, drums
Record Label: Sharp Nine Records