These days, piano trio-based recordings are sprouting faster than weeds growing out of concrete; however, the highly respected pianist Billy Childs breathes renewed life into a set dedicated to pianist/composer Herbie Hancock, titled Bedtime Stories – A Tribute to Herbie Hancock. And along with the ace rhythm section of bassist George Mraz and drummer Billy Hart, the leader supplements this impassioned date with a soul-funk version of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine”, along with stylish renditions of Sting’s “Fragile”, Wayne Shorter’s “Oriental Folks Song” and the Duke’s, “Sophisticated Lady”. Yet it is the pianist’s attractive renditions of Hancock classics that provide the winning edge.
Child’s radiant and deftly executed spin on Hancock’s fabled, “Dolphin Dance” is a marvel to behold. Here, the pianist allows the composition to breathe as he extracts the inherent attributes and molds them into an idiosyncratic presentation, teeming with softly stated voicings and daintily executed chord progressions. On “Maiden Voyage”, “Toys” and others, Childs renders emotive sentiment coupled with a joyous demeanor. Essentially every note and subtle nuance speaks encyclopedic volumes! .......Recommended!
Personnel: Billy Childs: piano; George Mraz: bass; Billy Hart: drums.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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