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Bill Charlap-Renee Rosnes at Musical Instrument Museum

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Bill Charlap-Renee Rosnes Musical Instrument Museum Phoenix, Arizona June 4, 2014 Facing each other at a nestled pair of nine-foot concert grand pianos, Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes combined their 20 fingers for a compelling concert that didn't rely solely on the Great American Songbook. While there was a bit of George Gershwin and Richard Rodgers, the program offered a refreshingly varied and intriguing repertoire. They mostly worked from charts related to their CD, Double Portrait (Blue Note, 2014). Playing with the piano tops removed, their eye contact was supplemented by slight head ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes: Double Portrait

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Many people believe that married couples have a telepathic connection. This recording puts that theory to the test, with two of the most important pianists in jazz today--who also happen to be husband and wife--sitting down for a duo piano recital. Charlap's own work with drummer Kenny Washington and bassist Peter Washington has positioned him as one of the key voices in the piano trio format. His selection of standards and exquisite, classy recording projects have given him status as an arbiter of taste within the jazz world. While these aspects of his playing are Charlap's calling ...

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Bill Charlap Trio in Ann Arbor

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Bill Charlap Trio University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan October 2, 2009While much of the credit for reinventing the standard repertoire via the piano trio can go to Keith Jarrett, the pianist's muse is more about using such chestnuts as a launching point for his own self-probing and extended improvisations. In the case of fellow pianist Bill Charlap, the focus is on just the opposite. His aim is to frame these trinkets in the best possible light while adding his own personality through keen arrangements and concise solo statements. As a result, Charlap's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Freddy Cole / The Bill Charlap Trio: Music Maestro Please

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"How's it going? Let's talk some. That's the kind of atmosphere Freddy Cole sings. He's casual, chatty and comforting, like a good old friend. A bit more gravel in his voice these days only adds to the warmth of his style. In a choice set of selections from the Great American Songbook there are some particular standouts. “Music Maestro Please serves as a last-call-for-alcohol moment perfectly suited to Cole's particular swinging ever so gentle buddy-to-buddy style. When he drifts into a conversational coda to the song with “I'm trying to make it on home, bring me a double, you can ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Bill Charlap Trio: Live At The Village Vanguard

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Charlap Trio: Live at the Village Vanguard

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Recorded in September 2003, this program includes several standards, giving a sense of familiarity to its essence. Pianist Bill Charlap enjoys a mellow groove. He squeezes the melody out of the piano as if it were coming from a rose petal. Nothing stands in his way as he sends each lyrical theme on its way. With bass and drums supplying his rhythmic foundation, the pianist moves gracefully over each selection with class.

For the most part, Charlap keeps this session quiet and gentle. His interpretations come naturally for an intimate room where the audience is relaxed and subdued. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Charlap Trio: Live at the Village Vanguard

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Bill Charlap is a tremendous player in concert. He leans into a solo like a sailor tacking into the wind during a Pacific gale; his hands can disappear into a blur, and they can touch the keys with a delicacy usually reserved for surgeons and safecrackers. Regardless of approach, the results are usually breathtaking, making Charlap's first live recording, Live at the Village Vanguard, such an exciting event.

This show happened during the legendary club's 70th anniversary celebration in 2005. Given his growing reputation as one of the genre's best interpreters, Charlap is the perfect person to revisit ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Charles Earland and Houston Person: Black Talk! and You Taught My Heart To Sing

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Charles Earland Black Talk! Fantasy 2006 Houston Person/Bill Charlap You Taught My Heart To Sing HighNote 2006

Black Talk! is a now-classic, funky 1969 session with Charles Earland as top man at the organ. A hit when it was originally released, Earland's driving percussive style here is quintessential organ-based soul jazz. Among his sidemen is the redoubtable Houston Person, whose tenor sax proved to be such a sympathetic hand in glove ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Bill Charlap & Herbie Hancock: Plays George Gershwin & Gershwin's World

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The latest releases from Bill Charlap and Herbie Hancock add two terrific chapters to the reinterpretation of George Gershwin's music. They are, however, entirely different from each other. For the former, the sole justification for the project is, to paraphrase George Mallory and Sir Edmund Hillary: “Because he's there. For the latter, the self-avowed aspirations are much more grandiose. It's intended as an “event. Arturo Sandoval wisely stated that false humility is one of the worst forms of hypocrisy and, lucky for us all, Hancock is no hypocrite. The letter and the spirit of Gershwin closely guide Charlap, whereas Hancock ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Charlap: Plays George Gershwin: The American Soul

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With a crisp attack and seamless, lyrical phrasing, pianist Bill Charlap interprets this collection of ten Gershwin songs with authority. His septet allows plenty of room for each artist to speak his piece throughout, each soloing along individual lines.

Frank Wess is featured on “How Long Has This Been Going On?," which exhibits his slow and natural charm with a ballad. His warm and dry interpretation nestles into a cozy nook for a brief respite.

Phil Woods sets the pace for “'S Wonderful," which invites solos around the room. His muscular alto tone and brisk attack ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Charlap: Plays George Gershwin: The American Soul

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Pianist Bill Charlap continues his inexorable climb up the top-tier, big-time jazz mountain with Plays George Gershwin, his first release since last year's Somewhere: the Songs of Leonard Bernstein. Here this quintessentially New York pianist covers another quintessentially New York composer--in this case, one so frequently covered by jazz musicians that one wonders whether Charlap and his longstanding trio of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington can find anything new in Gershwin's music.But they can. And while Charlap's group plays as an unsupplemented trio on three songs (and Charlap plays solo on one), they're supplemented elsewhere by ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Charlap: Plays George Gershwin: The American Soul

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Pianist Bill Charlap continues to mine precious gems from the American songbook on this release dedicated to the music of lauded songwriter and composer George Gershwin. A lyrical pianist in his own right with a clear penchant for classic swing in a modern context, Charlap has an affinity with songs from yesterday (both of his parents were involved in Broadway).

The American Soul is the followup to 2004's Somewhere: The Songs Of Leonard Bernstein, and it ups the ante with Charlap's longtime trio (including drummer Kenny Washington and bassist Peter Washington) augmented by special guests: trumpeter Nicholas Payton, trombonist Slide ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Charlap: Plays George Gershwin: The American Soul

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Pianist Bill Charlap limited himself to Leonard Bernstein-penned tunes for his previous album, Somewhere (Blue Note, 2004). For the followup (or -on, one might say) he has chosen to concentrate exclusively on another giant of American music, George Gershwin, with undoubtedly fine results.

The group shrinks and swells, depending on the treatment Charlap aims to give the material. The bandleader is flanked only by his familiar duo of Washingtons, drummer Kenny and bassist Peter (no relation), on the effervescent opener, “Who Cares?", and the swift and succinct “Liza." He closes out the disc alone with a tender one-chorus rendition of ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Bill Charlap in Albany, NY

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One of the finest practioners of the piano these days is Bill Charlap. He's not going to be pushing the envelope and probably no one has yet seen him dash off on Jarrett-esque sojourns or Herbie-with-Miles escapades. But he is an engaging and sophisticated player, full of nvention and... yes.. even charm.

His trio is one of the best out there and has been togther for a few years now, though on Jan. 16 at The egg in Albany, NY, he carried bassist Ben Wolfe, and not Peter Washington, who usually plays the bass alongside drummer Kenny Washington. Not much ...



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