Lenore Raphael has a love affair with the piano, as demonstrated by the myriad of emotions she is able to evoke in her playing.... and by the stream of ideas that pour forth in her solos, rich with quickly allusions that brush by the ear like a sussuration. From a sweetly swinging mode to pure nonstop bop, Raphael is the personification of swing. In order to swing, the music must grab the emotion of the listener, and this recording certainly accomplishes that. Lenore Raphael has played the major jazz clubs of the world, she is a BET award winner and has been the recipient of rave reviews from critics all over the world. Raphael counts the great jazz pianist Milcho Leviev among her admirers, and he has included her original composition "Johnny Jazz" (on this disc) in his repertoire.
"I'm Old Fashioned"..Clever ideas abound, spontaneous quotes dance softly by. Raphael is an admirer of Bud Powell, and one can sense it in her improvisations. Bud's (sometimes) moodiness, however, is never apparent in her playing; only a hint of his wistfulness is evident. This is always a good tune, and Raphael toys with the melody cleverly but never loses the simple beauty of it.
"Johnny Jazz"..This is an original composition by the leader. The intro is pure Monk. The melody is exquisite, the bridge is eight bars of pure power, and the piano solo is brilliant. The exchanges were highlighted by Raphael's impish mimicking of the drums in the trades. This tune is a favorite among musicians and has received rave reviews from both players and DJ's.
"Billie's Bounce" Charlie Parker's blues classic was done at a high steppn' medium tempo full of all the soul you could ask for. Raphael's interpretation was worthy of the authors genius. The Bass and Drums were clearly inspired by the tune,.. and the Pianist.
"You Don't Know What Love Is".. Bud Powell is embraced beautifully by Lenore Raphael, but the stamp of her soul is clearly on this tune. The bridge was given a most moving treatment, it was eight bars of a cry for love, brushed lovingly across the keys.
"There Is No Greater Love"..Solid bop from the top. Up tempo and swinging. The trio meshed nicely, the solo by Raphael had me clapping in appreciation.
A boffo ending to a remarkable recording. If you love great jazz, this album was made for you.
Personnel: Lenore Raphael, Piano
Mike Bocchicchio, Bass
Roger King, Jr., Drums