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This group is further evidence that jazz is a universal music knowing neither language nor geographic boundary. The countries represented at this session are Italy, Holland, England/ Belgium (Philip Catherine), and the United States, all recording for a Dutch label. The session is a bit of a departure by leader and bop artist Enrico Pieranunzi in that it is devoted to the exploration of standard material. Perhaps this is due to the presence of one of the more lyrical guitar players around these days, former wunderkind Catherine. Whatever, Pieranunzi does not leave behind his use of modern jazz figures to give new luster to these standards. The pianist, like one of his influences Bill Evans, manages to combine elegance with thoughtful demeanor that is picked up by each member of the group. There's nothing raucous nor harsh present, just quiet rumination in, around, over under and the melody line gently tweaking chord structures as they move along. On "My Foolish Heart", for example, Pieranunzi and Catherine exchange choruses recreating this tune into their own melodic masterpiece. It's also an occasion for pizzicato bass by Hein Van de Geyn. Staying with the script is the contemplative trumpet of Eric Vloeimans who taps the Miles Davis style adding a few twists of his own on the title tune, "Alone Together". Tracks such as "Just of Those Things" help to dispel the notion that Europeans can't swing. Of course, the prime mover behind the up tempo stuff is American drummer, Joe LaBarbera getting considerable help from Catherine. In fact, the guitarist is as much responsible for making this an attractive release as any other member of the group. In any event, Alone Together is top of the line small group jazz and is recommended.
Track Listing: Speak Low; My Foolish Heart; What Is This Thing Called Love*; Sweet and Lovely; You've Changed; Just One of Those Things; Alone Together*; Tenderly; How Deep Is the Ocean; You Don't Know What Love Is*; I Didn't Know What Time It Was; Moonglow
Personnel: Enrico Pieranuzi - Piano; Philip Catherine - Guitar; Hein Van de Geyn - Bass; Joe LaBarbera - Drums; Eric Vloeimans* - Trumpet
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.