Most of the Washut compositions are introspective and tend to be melancholy. But there's some break in the mood with a brighter number thrown in, like "Especial-Lee," from time to time. Washburn's melodies remind me of the music favored by George Winton on his early Windham Hill outings. If you are in the old Windham Hill style, you'll go for Washburn's. His interpretations of the two chestnuts on the album "Stompin' At the Savoy" and "Caravan" displays his ability to take an oft-played standard and give it a different but credible read. "Stompin'..." is done with a quirky meter pattern, up tempo, but not the swing rhythm usually associated with the performance of this tune. The tune showcases Kevin Hart's percussive skills. His drum solo is not built on loud, gaudy pyrotechnics, but upon an understated well constructed set of rhythmic patterns, consistent with the relaxed mood established for this set. "Caravan" is done with a Latin beat and showcases Washut's technical command of the keyboard. Urness on bass and Hart again on drums, get a good workout on this almost six minute up tempo reading of the Ellington/Tizol masterpiece. The only avant gardish sounding piece on the set is "Sphere's Mirror" which is done in honor of drummer Matt Wilson.
Songbook is like many other CDs, pleasing music performed by talented musicians, but one that does not compel you to pull it off the shelf very often.
Track Listing: Waiting for Charlie; Iowa Autumn; Basso Urnessto; Mrs. B; Stompin' at the Savoy; Fairy Tale; Caravan; Sphere's Mirror; The Sage; Especial-Lee;8:00 Bean
Personnel: Bob Washut - piano; Mark Urness - bass; Kevin Hart - drums
Record Label: Sea Breeze Jazz
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