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Quick and to the Point: Elegantly classy, swinging affair.
There is little mystery to the beauty of Mysterious Beauty. Easy instructions for home assembly of this recording follow graceful compositions of proven caliber. The repertoire includes materials from Porgy and Bess,Carmen, an all too brief Charlie Parker tune, “Danny Boy,” Brazilian music, a Ukrainian classical-folk theme sieved through jazz and more. All themes are arranged at a high level of musicality, bringing forth a listening experience heavily biased towards intelligence, clean and crisp tonality, force, cheerfulness, brooding and moaning, with sensual undertones here and there and swing to boot.
To be sure, beauty alights impressively and pleasingly as bassist Don Wilner and pianist/arranger Mike Renzi take on some operatic themes revealing previously hidden lights and visions. Hail his copious arco playing! Swift fingers, as portions of “Ill Wind” demonstrate, complement Wilner’s classically-and-scholarly-trained-jazz depurated wits. His arco playing entrances when engaged in seducing Brazilianness in “Morning of the Carnival,” featuring Ramiro Sosa on guitar and vocals. Renzi delights there too. His right hand sure enjoys the trip South. “Dexterity” is Sponge Bob- square-mainstream jazz. Billy Ross is featured on a friendly sax, as well as veteran Grady Tate on drums. Much else remains to be said, but it is better heard.