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John Lewis: Evolution

Mike Neely By

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John Lewis's solo piano release "Evolution" has the feel of a master playing for himself alone in a room in a manner that is entirely focused on the development of the music as he plays. There is a mindfulness that comes up through the pauses and spaces of his refined, emotional style. At times it seems the listener is eavesdropping on an intimate conversation between Lewis and his music.

One of the highlights of this CD is a gospel jazz composition entitled "For Ellington, which much like Ellington's subtle piano pieces deepens with each hearing beyond its surface simplicity. This cut is a "tribute" in the best sense of the word, both moving and sincere. Of the eleven cuts on the disc five are Lewis compositions, including a striking interpretation of the Modern Jazz Quartet classic "Django" which Lewis frames in an ominous tango-like feel. Lewis also covers "Sweet Georgia Brown, Willow Weep For Me, Cherokee, and other standards with an extraordinary precision of thought and emotion. John Lewis wastes not a note in this wonderful CD, and we are the luckier for it.


Track Listing: Sweet Georgia Brown; September Song; Afternoon in Paris; Two Degrees East,Three Degrees West; I'll Remember April; Django; Willow Weep For Me; Cherokee; For Ellington; Don't Blame Me;At The Horse Show.

Personnel: John Lewis, solo piano.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Atlantic Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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