There was a trend back in the '50s and '60s for jazz artists including Andre Previn, Oscar Peterson, Stan Kenton and Dave Brubeck to record albums based on Broadway musicals. But apart from an obscure 1958 album by Wilbur Harden, The King and I, one of the era's most acclaimed musicals, was overlooked.
Pianist Ted Rosenthal corrects that oversight on his new CD on the Japanese Venus label, a beautifully realized treatment of nine tunes from the 1951 Rodgers and Hammerstein show. Rosenthal, a talented mainstream pianist, best known perhaps for playing in saxophonist Gerry Mulligan's last group, has a crisp sound and precise approach that captures the essence of classic songs like "Shall We Dance, "Getting to Know You and "Hello, Young Lovers. He also has the vision to reimagine lesser songs like "I Whistle A Happy Tune, begun as a loping blues before changing tempo to finish up with some virtuosic high-speed soloing.
It doesn't hurt either that Rosenthal's joined by a dream rhythm section of George Mraz (bass) and Lewis Nash (drums). Together they make this a fitting and long overdue tribute to one of Broadway's best musicals from some of jazz's finest musicians.
Track Listing: My Lord and Master; Shall We Dance; I Have Dreamed; I Whistle a Happy Tune; We Kiss in a Shadow; Getting to Know You; Something Wonderful; March of the Siamese Children; Hello Young Lovers.
Personnel: Ted Rosenthal: piano; George Mraz: bass; Lewis Nash: drums.
I fell in love with jazz through my dad Bobby Hirst who was a jazz pianist for over 50 years around the UK and Europe. He was such a modest man but an incredible musician. I tinkered with piano but found myself drawn to guitar after listening to Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell
I fell in love with jazz through my dad Bobby Hirst who was a jazz pianist for over 50 years around the UK and Europe. He was such a modest man but an incredible musician. I tinkered with piano but found myself drawn to guitar after listening to Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell. Misty by Erroll Garner is one of my favourite tracks. My current choice of guitars are Gibson ES335 & ES175 although I only own Epiphone copies at present. I also play classical guitar and love to play jazz on them. I have recently moved to Leeds from York and hoping to meet new friends in the jazz community.