Brendan Clarke: Stay Right With It (2003)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Brendan Clarke is a young Australian bassist and leads this piano trio through a well chosen set list of standards and fairly obscure jazz standards. I've always suggested in my reviews that in lieu of playing a bunch of original songs, musicians should go for the compositions of well-received jazz masters. Along with the six standards there are tunes written by Ron Carter, Thad Jones, Hank Jones and the title tune (I can still picture the vinyl cover on Riverside) by Barry Harris.
Clarke provides a steady pulse throught the set and gets to solo (appropriately) on "I'll String Along With You" with an even better one on "Get Out of Town." Pianist John Harkins supplies the creativity needed on piano and delivers the lyrics on "I Thought About You," "I'll String Along With You," and "Sweet Lorraine" very Harry Connick-ally. His solos on Thad's "50-21," Hank's "Angel Face" and Barry's title tune were all lengthy, lyrical and swinging. Andrew Dickeson's drums round out the group by providing the right touches for ballads or bop.
One correction for the guys Down Under who wrote the liner notes. Johnny Mandel's "Emily" was from the film "The Americanization of Emily," not "The Emancipation of Emily," and even though Julie Andrews was in the title role, it was not a musical but a romantic drama about pre-D Day London. Other than that, please keep them coming.
Track Listing: United Blues, Emily, I Thought About You, Three Little Words, I'll String Along With You, Get Out of Town, 50-21, Sweet Lorraine, Angel Face, Stay Right With It.
Personnel: Brendan Clarke,bass and leader; Andrew Dickeson, drums; John Harkins, piano,vocals
Record Label: La Brava Music