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This recording offers a refreshing take on eight standards, plus one original. Between them, bassist Lynn Seaton, pianist Stephen Anderson, and drummer Joel Fountain make a lot of good music.
"Bernie's Tune is a perfect opener, swinging with solos by all three players. "Gone With The Wind starts off with Anderson playing out-of-tempo solo piano and reharmonized chord changes. Seaton and Fountain join in with the tempo, Fountain with brushes and Seaton laying down some double time bass segments in his solo. Ellington's "Mood Indigo gets a bluesy treatment with Anderson taking the melody, and then bass and piano solos follow.
"Pretending, the only original, is by Fountain. The song has some interesting harmonies and is performed with bass and piano splitting the melody; Fountain puts in some tasty brushwork on this one. "Nature Boy is performed with a Latin feel, the melody put forth by Anderson with counterpoint figures from Seaton and a hand-drumming showcase for Fountain. "Moanin' finds Seaton singing scat with his bass on the intro and during his solo. Anderson's piano solo builds nicely, punctuated by Fountain's drums, before Seaton finishes up with some more scatting with his bass.
The only ballad here is "Londonderry Air, where Anderson's solo piano starts of off, then is joined by bass and drums, Anderson reharmonizing the chords on the last chorus. "Puttin' On The Ritz and "Indiana are both performed at breakneck speed. The former features some very fast fingering by Anderson and a bowed bass solo by the leader. The latter opens with the melody and a first solo taken by the piano, followed by an arco bass solo by Seaton and some solo brushwork tap dancing by Fountain. Everybody has a good time.
Puttin' On The Ritz is a team effort where the participants support each other, performing well-chosen songs with a sense of joy.
Track Listing: Bernie's Tune;
Gone With the Wind;
Puttin' on the Ritz.
Personnel: Lynn Seaton: bass;
Stephen Anderson: piano;
Joel Fountain: drums.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.