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John Hart: Standards: Green and Blue (2006)

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John Hart: Standards: Green and Blue How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Guitarist John Hart adds vibraphonist Joe Locke for this valuable studio quartet date that's focused primarily on standards, but with a fresh look.

They transform "Lazy Afternoon from a subtle ballad into a snappy mid-tempo post bop vehicle, with lively soloing by the two players. Bassist Bill Moring's sinewy new bass line and a change to a minor key slightly alter the character of the timeless ballad "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans, while the piece retains its bluesy air. Joni Mitchell's well known "Help Me proves to be a suitable jazz vehicle, though the setting isn't significantly different from the original. "Alone Together, a favorite of many guitarists, is revamped with Hart's enticing Afro-Cuban arrangement.

While most musicians tend to play Monk's "Well You Needn't at a brisk tempo (which Hart also chooses), the group (minus Locke) takes it far from its roots in the explosive treatment here. The leader's stunning solo interpretation of "The Night We Called It a Day is a lyrical masterpiece. His two originals, the breezy Latin-ish "The E Tune and lively modal blues "Green Acres, reveal new facets with each spin.

Track Listing: Lazy Afternoon; The E Tune; Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans; Green Acres; The NIght We Called It a Day; Help Me; All or Nothing at All; Alone Together; My Shining Hour; Well, You Needn't.

Personnel: John Hart: electric guitar; Joe Locke: vibes; Bill Moring: bass; Tim Horner: drums.

Record Label: Hep Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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