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Don't know where Lou Montelione has been, but it's a pleasure to welcome him home. Take my word, the man plays some serious Jazz piano! Even better, don't take my word and listen for yourself. If you aren't as convinced as I was, well - listen a second time. You'll hear something new and exciting every time this abundantly melodious disc starts spinning. As George Foreman says, "I guarantee it." You may even find yourself glancing at the jacket from time to time to make sure you're not actually listening to one of Jazz's "big-name" keyboard artists. That's the sort of persuasive impression Montelione fashions on his debut recording, breezing confidently through song after song with a sure-handed technique and clear-headed conception that belie his relatively limited credentials. Equally impressive are Montelione's teammates, the rock-solid duo of Logan and Brooks and the ardent Stubblefield, whose dauntless explorations on tenor or soprano always convey him - and the listener - through extremely agreeable territory. The group has a wonderful time unraveling Logan's "Gigology," Scott LaFaro's "Gloria's Step," Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way," David Benoit's "Some Other Sunset," Montelione's "Comin' Back Home" and the standards "Beautiful Love" and "I Fall in Love Too Easily." Stubblefield steps aside on another enduring standard, Victor Young/Ned Washington's "My Foolish Heart," and on the warm-hearted finale, Montelione's appropriately titled "Love Theme for My Family." Montelione's parents, both of whom are pianists, must be smiling broadly; also his late stepfather, who played saxophone in Georgie Auld's big band, and great-grandfather, a trombonist with bands led by Paul Whiteman and Vincent Lopez. Me? After hearing Montelione play, I'm smiling too. And so will you.
Lou Montelione, piano; John Stubblefield, tenor, soprano saxophones; Michael Logan, bass; Cecil Brooks III, drums.
Reprinted with permission from Marge Hofacre's Jazz News