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From the mainstream, pianist Phil DeGreg leads his trio and quartet through a varied program of material, both familiar and fresh. The pianist, whose experience includes work with Slide Hampton, Stanley Turrentine, Eddie Harris, and Woody Herman’s orchestra, is an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Real Audio clips from four of the album’s tracks may be found at http://www.jcurverecords.com/releases.html .
"Bouncin’ With Bud" opens the session and offers a good look at the pianist’s articulate right hand. What is broadly associated with Bill Evans, simply infers in this instance that the artist provides crisp bebop melodies while chording appropriately. Charlie Chaplin’s "Smile," on the other hand, places the piano trio in a lush sweeping ballad scenario with an emphasis on harmony. The pianist improvises over the familiar melody to Johnny Mandel’s "Close Enough for Love" with a relaxed aura similar to what one would find in an intimate club setting. The tenor saxophone drives DeGreg’s "Urgency" forward like the title says, in an up-tempo and dramatic fashion as they go out smokin’. It’s a well-rounded set from the ensemble, with a little something for everyone.
Track Listing: Bouncin
Personnel: Phil DeGreg- piano; Drew Gress- acoustic bass; Steve Davis- drums; Tim Ries- tenor saxophone on "How Deep is the Ocean" and "Urgency", soprano saxophone on "The Green Gate," "Carol
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.