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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The David Leonhardt Jazz Group: The David Leonhardt Jazz Group Plays Cole Porter

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A towering figure in American musical history, Cole Porter's music has been performed by countless people and groups for decades, enduring to this day. Pianist/composer David Leonhardt is the latest artist to interpret the work of the legendary songwriter with a smart and snappy presentation on The David Leonhardt Jazz Group Plays Cole Porter. With plenty of music to choose from, Leonhardt selects six compositions from the 1940s and '50s, but was wise enough to fill the balance of the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Leonhardt: Bach to The Blues

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Veteran pianist David Leonhardt has often improvised around classical melodies in a live format, and now he finally commits an entire disc to tunes by Debussy, Bach, Beethoven and others. Backed by his working trio, the pianist gets things started with Bach's “Prelude in C Major" alternating the tempo between andante and another more suitable tempo with a straight-ahead beat.

He also tackles Schubert's popular “Ave Maria," playing it straight without adding much to it. Bassist Matthew Parrish ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Leonhardt Trio: Bach to the Blues

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Pianist David Leonhardt's sideman credentials are impeccable, with ten years supporting the great jazz singer Jon Hendricks and twenty with Ray Charles' longstanding saxophonist, David “Fathead" Newman. Bach to the Blues, his twentieth album as a leader, may not radically alter his status as a respected but lesser known veteran, but the subtle pleasures it provides and its obvious classical/jazz crossover appeal should expose him to a wider, appreciative audience. The title is something of a misnomer, as most tracks ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Leonhardt Trio: Bach to the Blues

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Pianist David Leonhardt takes a right turn directly into Jacques Loussier territory with the release of Bach to the Blues. Loussier has made his career arranging jazz interpretations of Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven. His arranging and playing are characterized by a crystalline precision while often sacrificing space for improvisation. Leonhardt loosens the laces a bit, allowing not only for more fertile solo ground, but also introduces whimsy into his arrangements.

Leonhardt also expands the classical-jazz repertoire with Aaron Copland's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The David Leonhardt Trio: Bach to the Blues

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Pianist David Leonhardt presents a tasteful marriage of classical music and jazz, sprinkled with a touch of the blues on Bach to the Blues, an improvisational statement on classical themes that is surprisingly entertaining. Leonhardt reinterprets the music of Bach, Schubert, Beethoven, Chopin, and others with a creative improvisational approach producing a texture of light classical jazz that is most enjoyable. With bassist Matthew Parrish and drummer Alvester Garnett, The David Leonhardt Trio offers eleven pieces from eight great composers ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The David Leonhardt Jazz Group: I'll Be Home for Christmas

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With a casual atmosphere that recalls long winter evenings at your favorite nightclub, David Leonhardt and his musical partners interpret this program of holiday favorites in the jazz tradition. The pianist brings a warm glow to each song. They're exciting, and yet Leonhardt manages to put more into each piece than is usually found this time of the year. He fashions each interpretation so that it stands out as an improvised work that the group can explore thoroughly. Together, they ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The David Leonhardt Jazz Group: Jazz for Kids

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Easton, PA, which sits at the fork of the Leigh and Delaware Rivers is not only the home of Lafayette College and the Crayola crayon factory, but is the site for one of jazz music's most prolific and multi talented pianists of our time, David Leonhardt. in addition to "regular jazz albums, he has released CDs devoted solely to dancers...a kind of music minus one for tap dancing...original compositions and interpretations of some of the most compelling entries from the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Leonhardt Jazz Group: Plays Gershwin

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Pennsylvania-based David Leonhardt Jazz Group, noted for its presentation of both straight and modern jazz, eschews the latter on this CD turning its considerable talents and energy to the music of the Gershwin Brothers. One of the Group's stalwarts, Village Vanguard Orch. veteran Ralph Lalama, sets aside his hard bop sax as he revels in the tenderer arrangements of these classic entries from the Great American Songbook. The rhythm section of bassist Paul Rostock and drummer Tom Melito go beyond ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Leonhardt Jazz Group: Plays Gershwin

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The release of another all-Gershwin record might not be necessary, but when played as lovingly as David Leonhardt surely is welcome. Leonhardt, a veteran of David ‘Fathead’ Newman’s band, has worked with, among others Jon Hendricks, Herbie Mann and Ron Carter. This release, his fifth as leader, remains close to the Gershwin compositions. And why not? Gershwin’s tunes (popular music of their day) were/are perfectly formed melodies. They conjure memories of Broadway shows and great performances. How can one not ...


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