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Doug Webb: Renovations (2011)

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Doug Webb: Renovations How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

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
Stanley Clarke
Stanley Clarke
b.1951
bass
and drummer Gerry Gibbs
Gerry Gibbs
Gerry Gibbs
b.1964
drums
on a collection of jazz standards, joined on each track by one of three guest pianist. Larry Goldings
Larry Goldings
Larry Goldings
b.1968
keyboard
had equal credit on the sleeve of Midnight, appearing on five tunes, but on this album he shares the piano work more equally with Joe Bagg
Joe Bagg
Joe Bagg

keyboard
and Mahesh Balasooriya.

The tunes, as before, are familiar—overly so, perhaps—but 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
Toots Thielemans
Toots Thielemans
b.1922
harmonica
' "Bluesette" or taking a more measured and gentle approach on Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini
b.1924
piano
's romantic "Slow Hot Wind."

Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
1899 - 1974
piano
and Billy Strayhorn
Billy Strayhorn
Billy Strayhorn
1915 - 1967
piano
'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).

Record Label: Posi-Tone Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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