Jazz writer Gary Giddins once wrote an article entitled "Fifty Years of 'Body and Soul'", which celebrates what he calls "the greatest American song of all time". Basically a tribute to how enduring the song is (nearly 300 versions have been recorded), the article highlights some of the more memorable interpretations. Giddins also illustrates how important standards are to the jazz medium, for they provide a common ground for musicians to collaborate with one another on the spot without ever having played together before. Django Reinhardt, Bill Evans, and Archie Shepp have all recorded versions of "Body and Soul"; wouldn't it be fun to throw them all together to play the tune and see what happens?
Guitarist Joe Diorio has recorded an album very much in the spirit of such spontaneous collaboration. He and his cohorts have dusted off a few well-worn stardards and made them sound as fresh and lively as ever. The whole album has the feel of three friends making music after dinner for their own amusement, and this is probably a deliberate effect; it was recorded at engineer Tobias Weiss' house. These three veterans have gigged with Stan Getz, Freddie Hubbard, and Joe Pass among others, and have obviously played each of these songs hundreds of times in a variety of settings. Their sophistication and empathy for one another on these soft-hued tunes shows; since the three have played together before, the affinity they have for one another is clearly evident.. However, the true marvel here and testament to these accomplished musicians is that each song was unrehearsed and recorded in one take.
Although these songs are familiar, everyone brings something fresh to the table; At the beginning of "Days of Wine and Roses", for instance, Diorio bounces arpeggios off of Magnusson's singing bass lines while Plank simmers underneath. The true highlight is the translucent "A Child is Born", where Magnusson takes the head while Diorio plays shimmering chords in the background. Everything is very fluid and relaxe
Personnel: Joe Diorio, guitar; Bob Magnusson, bass; Jim Plank, drums.