Bobby Hutcherson says that he always wanted to record an album of ballads and love songs. That dream has been realized with this recording, which he calls his love record. It comes across as more; it is a love-in for the listener as well.
Hutcherson is a player who makes every note count, whose every touch of the mallet makes the vibraphone sing. His instinct makes the music glow as he fills it with his fervent passion without letting the cup of emotion spill over.
Hutcherson has a compatriot of the spirit in pianist Renee Rosnes. She is articulate and sagacious, a distinctive artist who can surprise and delight in equal measure. Hutcheron and Rosnes are in perfect consonance, well-oiled but never slick. They build on their understanding and find fine support from Dwayne Burno (bass) and Al Foster (drums).
Hutcherson embraces the songs with a quiet fervor. He paints images in warm tones, leaving enough space for the moment to sink in and to give Rosnes the avenues for her own artistic work. The duet, "Somewhere, finds the interaction cerebral. Hutcherson plays with a serene air as Rosnes frames the chords. Together they give the ballad a majestic grace. It's solo time for Hutcherson on "I'll Be Seeing You, where he reaches into the soul of the song and explores it with a delicate sensitivity.
The quartet is at play on the rest of the tunes. Hutcherson scampers on "Along Came Betty and lights a spark. The momentum is lithe, his use of dynamics to propel and sustain remarkable. Rosnes is spry and scintillating, her playing ripe with enchanting ideas. "Jitterbug Waltz has a nifty arrangement. Hutcherson navigates the tune slowly and then slips into the rhythm and melody. He gradually ups the intensity, the textural palette resounding in testimony to his eloquence. Rosnes is once more exuberant, a lively spirit that flies high and marvelously.
(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons; Ode To Angela; Embraceable You; Along Came Betty; Somewhere;
Jitterbug Waltz; What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life; Don
Bobby Hutcherson: vibraphone; Renee Rosnes: piano; Dwayne Burno: bass; Al Foster: drums.