Let's Groove! provides a tribute to Mel Tormé through a comfortable collection of originals and songs associated with the great jazz singer. Four veterans of the jazz world give each selection plenty of personality. Pianist Jimmy Amadie turns out yet another treasure trove of straight-ahead delights with a closely-knit musical partnership that has existed for many years. The program includes sensual ballads as well as hard-driving romps. Tormé loved to interpret music both ways. Here Phil Woods lends a hand, and the result is marvelous.
Over the years, acute tendonitis has hampered Amadie's actions at the piano. In the 1950s, he accompanied jazz legends such as Mel Tormé, Red Rodney, and Charlie Ventura. From 1960 to 1995, however, he couldn't even touch a piano. Surgery and physical therapy have helped, but the pianist still cannot play too long without stopping. Few individuals possess the kind of determination that Amadie has harbored for all these years. He thinks the music through in his head and plans his movesthen the recording sessions flow like water. More rest is required, of course, and Amadie continues with fruitful results. Let's Groove! proves this.
The trio alone works out Blues for Lady Sadie and "How Deep is the Ocean. Amadie, bassist Steve Gilmore, and drummer Bill Goodwin have been doing this together for quite some time, and they swing with a comfortable groove. Phil Woods joins the trio for the other selections, providing a fluid alto saxophone voice that continues to inspire. His concept of swing and rhythm help to pay homage to Mel Tormé, with emotions laid bare.
Together, the ensemble rocks solid in its tribute. Let's Groove! comes recommended for its firm foundation and rhythmic appeal.
Jimmy Amadie: piano; Phil Woods: alto saxophone; Steve Gilmore: bass; Bill Goodwin: drums.
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