Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
161

Alex Riel: Celebration

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count Views
A thoughtfully planned, beautifully recorded, generously timed and wonderfully played trio session led by drummer Alex Riel and showcasing the prodigious talents of pianist Kenny Werner and bassist Jesper Lundgaard, so exhilarating that this reviewer was reminded from time to time of the classic Marian McPartland Hickory House trio from the '50s with bassist Bill Crow and drummer Joe Morello. After opening the concert date at the Copenhagen Jazz House with three spellbinding standards, Riel and Company elucidate Horace Silver's "Peace" and Thad Jones's "A Child Is Born," return to the tried-and-true American Songbook for two more masterpieces, and Werner wraps things up with an unaccompanied reading of J.S. Bach's "Siciliana." Werner, who doesn't habitually linger long in this groove, shows a lyrical side that is consistently radiant and charming, not to mention shrewd and resourceful. He really should do this more often. As for Riel and Lundgaard, they are twin pillars of tastefulness and talent, thoroughly at ease in every situation and always ready to maximize the trio's rhythmic impact. Listen, for example, to their understated mastery on "Green Dolphin Street" — or anywhere else, for that matter. Like Werner, Lundgaard is a nimble and expressive soloist (his arco statement on "Bye Bye Blackbird" is especially engaging), and Riel has his shining moments as well, most notably on "Blackbird," "Autumn Leaves" and "You and the Night and the Music." But this is primarily a group effort, and one that seldom fails to please.

Contact: Stunt Records, 29 W. Maple Avenue, Bellmawr, NJ 08031 (phone 856-931-6441; fax 856-931-6445. www.sundance.dk


Track Listing: In Your Own Sweet Way; Bye Bye Blackbird; Autumn Leaves; Peace; A Child Is Born; On Green Dolphin Street; You and the Night and the Music; Siciliana (78:40).

Personnel: Alex Riel, drums; Kenny Werner, piano; Jesper Lundgaard, bass.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Stunt Records/Sundance Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Full House
Full House
Storyville Records
2012
buy
[no cover]
Live At Stars
ITM Records
2008
buy
[no cover]
Rielatin'
ITM Records
2000
buy
[no cover]
Unriel!
ITM Records
1997
buy
[no cover]
Emergence! Live At...
ITM Records
1994
buy

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.