What of the lunchpail musicians? The blue collar jazz players like pianist Bob Albanese, are craftsmen who work to complete the jazz cathedrals whose foundations were laid by the masters. Albanese acknowledges the jazz icons, yet his artistry is as imaginative as the names written on the cornerstones. Proof positive is Time Remembered with guest Eddie Gomez.
This disc follows his One Way/Detour Zoho Music (2009) and also has the pianist and longtime collaborator Willard Dyson at the drum set. Their simpatico relationship is enhanced by the legendary time keeping of Gomez, who held the bass chair in Bill Evans' trio for 14 years. Fittingly enough, the trio opens with Evans' signature piece "Time Remembered." Like donning a favorite sweater, the music gives comfort and acts as a musical keepsake. Albanese's solo take on Billy Strayhorn's "Isfahan" stays true to the melody, while expanding the approach with first, a gospel touch, then a bit of stride piano, and a well-timed mouth pop and click. Albanese plays a melody as if it is ever present in, say the stratosphere; he seems to effortlessly bring it to life.
His time in the piano chair at the famed Rainbow Room in New York has enabled him to move effortlessly between styles and genres. His Latin piece "El Raton" is plugged straight into the propulsion of Dyson. It features the immediate rapport between the pianist and Gomez, whose vocalized playing is contagious. Each piece here acknowledges either a jazz legend, Herbie Hancock "Herbie Lix" or a loved one. "Furmina" is dedicated to his wife and their much loved dog, who makes a guest appearance. The pianist adds two vocal pieces. "The Place" is a lyric favored by his recently deceased mother, sung with a delicate dedication. He also gets his Bob Dorough on with "Changes," a spoken/sung description of the notes played, that allows the trio the freedom to swing his composition with the authority of the finest blue-collared craftsmen.
Time Remembered; Isfahan; El Raton; Pastels (Waltz For George); Herbie Lix; Pensativa;
Furmina; The Place; Changes (AKA “Jazz Harmony Lesson In A Song”).
Bob Albanese: piano, ukulele, melodica, vocals; Eddie Gomez: bass; Willard Dyson:
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