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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Andre Previn: Four Classic Albums

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Andre PrevinFour Classic AlbumsAvid Group 2011 Andre Previn may not be as well known as fellow West Coast pianists Vince Guaraldi and Dave Brubeck, but he nevertheless created a respectable body of work, mostly as a trio with drummer Shelly Manne, with whom he created a series of recordings where they swapped the leader role back and forth. This compilation collects four of Previn's sessions from the West Coast heyday of the 1950s.The first disc features two cool jazz classics: West Side Story (Contemporary) from 1959 and Collaboration (RCA ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andre Previn/David Finck: We Got It Good and That Ain't Bad

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Andre Previn - or more accurately, Sir Andre, given the knighthood bestowed upon him by Queen Elizabeth in 1996 - is one of the very few pianists who moves back and forth between jazz and classical music with ease. Others of note are Keith Jarrett and, to a lesser extent, Mel Powell. There has been considerable debate whether a classical musician can successfully make this transition given the restraints on improvisation in the classical genre. It depends, I suppose, on one's definition of “successful". Mr. Previn has certainly made some successful jazz records over the years. But this one is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andr: We Got It Good And That Ain

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André Previn’s piano brings us theme and variations on songs associated with composer Duke Ellington. Bassist David Finck provides subtle accompaniment and lyrical interludes.

The pieces themselves are like old friends. And here they’re treated with respect. So sit down, my friends, and tell me how you’ve been lately.

The titles from Ellington’s blues-based songs represent lyrics by themselves. The ideas live through those melodies. “I got it bad." “Do nothin’ till you hear from me." “It don’t mean a thing."

And Billy Strayhorn’s melodies poke at your psyche. “Isfahan," “Chelsea Bridge," and the bouncier “Take the ‘A’ Train" lay ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andre Previn: We Got It Good And That Ain't Bad

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We haven’t heard much from André Previn lately, have we? I mean, those of us in the world of jazz enthusiasts. He has been writing operas, completing classical commissions and conducting orchestras around the world.Well, Deutche Grammaphon, on whose label Previn records whatever his protean imagination produces (or so it seems), has corrected that omission. By staggering the release of “We Got It Good And That Ain’t Bad” by approximately a year after its recording in Tanglewood, the label has let Previn’s album of Ellington tunes stand on its own. Of course, it’s much better to let Previn’s ...



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