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April 24, 2009 was a busy day for saxophonist Doug Webb, his fellow musicians and the production team at North Hollywood's Entourage Studios. Recordings from that day have already been released on the excellent Midnight (Posi-Tone 2010): now Renovations delivers more music from the session, and very welcome it is, too.
As with the previous recording Renovations features the core trio of Webb, bassist Stanley Clarke
The tunes, as before, are familiaroverly so, perhapsbut the band is so stylish and inventive that each tune seems more like an old friend from way back than a relative who's overstayed a welcome. The band is tight, melodic and richly-toned, treating these standards with respect, but also with an almost boyish enthusiasm. Clarke's bass playing seems especially strong and inventive, whether driving hard on Toots Thielemans
's "Satin Doll" is taken at a terrific pace, its usual seductiveness replaced with excitement and verve, both of which are epitomised by outstanding solos from Bagg and Clarke. Arthur Schwartz' "Then I'll Be Tired Of You" swings gently thanks to Clarke and Gibbs: Goldings' piano and Webb's alto saxophone share the lead line, both playing with a delicate grace. Frank Loesser's "I've Never Been In Love Before" is introduced by Goldings' Monk-like piano. Underpinned by Gibbs' brushed shuffle beat, it features another rich bass solo from Clarke as well as lyrical and flowing solos from Webb and Goldings.
Renovations closes with "Slow Hot Wind," Webb's saxophone and Goldings' piano both lending the tune a late-night feel. It's a stylish end to the second set of tunes from that April day.
Track Listing: Satin Doll; Then I'll Be Tired Of You; I Can't Get Started; I've Never Been In Love Before; You've Changed; They Can't Take That Away From Me; Bluesette; Slow Hot Wind.
Personnel: Doug Webb: saxophones; Stanley Clarke: bass; Gerry Gibbs: drums; Joe Bagg: piano (1, 5, 6); Mahesh Balasooriya: piano (3, 7); Larry Goldings: piano (2, 4, 8).