220

Bill Charlap: Plays George Gershwin: The American Soul

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Bill Charlap: Plays George Gershwin: The American Soul Pianist Bill Charlap continues to mine precious gems from the American songbook on this release dedicated to the music of lauded songwriter and composer George Gershwin. A lyrical pianist in his own right with a clear penchant for classic swing in a modern context, Charlap has an affinity with songs from yesterday (both of his parents were involved in Broadway).

The American Soul is the followup to 2004's Somewhere: The Songs Of Leonard Bernstein, and it ups the ante with Charlap's longtime trio (including drummer Kenny Washington and bassist Peter Washington) augmented by special guests: trumpeter Nicholas Payton, trombonist Slide Hampton, and saxophonists Phil Woods and Frank Wess. While the soul of the music is Gershwin, the musicians translate that spirit into heartfelt and superb performances, paying empathetic attention to detail on these timeless Gershwin tunes, which exhibit both familiarity and newness.

The trio is featured on three songs with a sound that's down to a pure science of presence and oneness, particularly notable on the poignant "I Was So Young, and You Were So Beautiful as Charlap's piano quietly sings the melody, and "Liza, with its impeccable precision and nice brush work by Washington. But the real treat lies with the horns as masters old and young enter the fray, opening up the sound with clean arrangements and lively soloing on "Nice Work If You Can Get It and "How Long has This Been Going On, which features the masterful sax of veteran Frank Wess.

The issue of whether jazz should press forward or indulge memories of the past will continue to be discussed, but The American Soul is for music lovers who appreciate both ideas by recreating new memories of time-weathered classics. Whether you're old enough to remember these Gershwin jewels or not, this recording comes highly recommended.


Track Listing: 1 Who Cares?; 2 Somebody Loves Me; 3 Liza; 4 How Long Has This Been Going On?; 5 A Foggy Day; 6 SWonderful; 7 I Was So Young, and You Were So Beautiful; 8 Bess, You is My Woman Now; 9 Nice Work if You Can Get It; 10 Soon

Personnel: Bill Charlap - piano; Kenny Washington - drummer; Peter Washington - bassist; Nicholas Payton - trumpet; Slide Hampton - trombone; Phil Woods - alto sax; Frank Wess - tenor sax.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "It's A Man's World" CD/LP/Track Review It's A Man's World
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 12, 2016
Read "Chamber Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Chamber Jazz
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Chapters Of My Life" CD/LP/Track Review Chapters Of My Life
by James Nadal
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "Convergence" CD/LP/Track Review Convergence
by Mark F. Turner
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Leaving Everything Behind" CD/LP/Track Review Leaving Everything Behind
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!