From jazz's modern mainstream, this duo performance provides free interpretations of classic songs. Pianist Phillip Strange fills each selection with anxious energy while drummer Larry Marshall complements with intuitive colors. The performance runs loose and laid back as both artists reflect on familiar melodies with widespread animation. The performance rises and falls as befits each interpretation, with the mood shifting continuously. There's ample beauty in each portrait.
Strange, who has won four Downbeat Student Music Awards, exhibits superb keyboard mastery and a disciplined approach to dynamics. He captures the essence of a song through exaggerated changes in its emotional level. From a shout to a whisper, he ensures that each piece gets its due.
Take Five remains one of those all-time favorites that we like to keep around year after year. Strange and Marshall give it a unique overcoat that wins new friends and influences people through its free jazz approach. No one has ever done it this way before, and they've come up with a sure winner. That's what jazz is for. The duo's title track mellows gently for an extended period of lazy relaxation with a few built-in emotional surges. Strange's "My Paradise, "Absinthe, and "Brazilian Heart follow the same code, combining somber reflections with assertive forays. Pianist and drummer employ shifting moods that appear as natural as the wind.
Through their classic song interpretations and original pieces, Strange and Marshall give their audience a recommended moment of reflection that comes equipped with the stuff that dreams are made of.
Track Listing: The Old Country; Interlude; Take Five; In the Moment; Brazilian Heart; I Remember You; Absinthe; Have You Met Miss Jones?; Someday My Prince Will Come; My Paradise.
Personnel: Phillip Strange: piano; Larry Marshall: drums.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.