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Jazz Arts Trio: Tribute

Woodrow Wilkins By

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When artists cover old classics, there is generally something different about them: a new arrangement, something added or something removed, in an attempt to make it "their own." Pianist Frederick Moyer and his Jazz Arts Trio take a different approach on Tribute. They perform eleven classics, note for note, just as they were recorded previously.

Moyer is a classical pianist who has performed as a soloist with major metropolitan orchestras in Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston, Singapore, along with the London Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Brazil, among many others. He has also written several software programs to aid in practicing, analyzing, recording and performing music. Accompanying him on Tribute are bassist Peter Tillotson and drummer Peter Fraenkel.

The trio does more than justice to "Something's Coming." This version faithfully follows the storyline of the vintage Oscar Peterson recording, while adding Moyer's own touch. The selection changes pace, evoking the image of an animal scurrying through the grass in starts and stops. Moyer's lead is impressive, while the bass and drums create a lively backdrop.

"Watch What Happens" begins as a very slow piano solo. Then, Fraenkel's rim shots set the pace for an easygoing, yet charming piece. Moyer's speed and accuracy during one of the more engaging sequences are top notch, and Fraenkel also shifts, getting more work on the snare and cymbals.

Cymbals and toms help establish Vince Guaraldi's "Freeway." Fraenkel's pings exemplify an element that makes this type of music so special. The bass is subtle, but effective.

Jazz listeners typically want something unique when they hear a remake of a classic. However, once in a while, it is refreshing, to say nothing of entertaining, to hear them just as they were done before. That is the essence of Tribute.

Track Listing: Something's Coming (Oscar Peterson Trio); Tin Tin Deo (Oscar Peterson Trio); Bossa Beguine (Oscar Peterson Trio); Watch What Happens (Oscar Peterson Trio); (They Long to Be) Close to You (Erroll Garner Quartet); My Foolish Heart (Bill Evans Trio); Freeway (Vince Guaraldi Trio); Lonely Woman (Horace Silver Trio); First Trip (Herbie Hancock Trio); You Look Good To Me (Oscar Peterson Trio); Blues Etude (Oscar Peterson Trio).

Personnel: Frederick Moyer: piano; Peter Tillotson: bass; Peter Fraenkel: drums.

Title: Tribute | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: JRI Recordings

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