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Pianist Dan Nimmer needs to change his name to Dan Nimblefor agile are his fingers as he navigates through a selection of pop and jazz standards as well as a couple of originals on this trio album with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash along for the ride. And what a ride it is. Nimmer's choice of material encompasses a wide range of composers including Oscar Peterson, Wes Montgomery, Johnny Hodges, Gil Evans and Paul Chambers as well as selections from the great American songbook.
Since Nimmer is a master of styles, each track reveals the extent of his mastery. The title track is a fast-paced version where Nimmer switches from single notes to chordal playing with ease. His original "Ray," full of fast-played triplets, and Chambers' "Whims of Chambers," are both bop workouts. Kurt Weill's "Speak Low" is treated in two different ways: The first is funky, with Nimmer playing against Washington's bass figure, and the second a Latin version with a nicely built piano solo. Nimmer pays homage to the late Peterson with an expert treatment of "Blues Etude." Most notable is an inventive, exciting version of "Poinciana," which jumps off the CD ripe for lots of airplay.
Along with Nimmer's performances, there are lots of moments where Washington's melodic bass work is emphasized, as on "Ray" and "Squatty Roo." Nash keeps a solid beat all the way through, making some swinging statements on "Yours Is My Heart Alone" and the aforementioned "Squatty Roo." Nimmer's trio is having a great time here and it's contagious.
Track Listing: Yours Is My Heart Alone; Jazzbangle; Just Us; Ray; Speak Low (I); Poinciana; Blues Etude; Road Song; Squatty Roo; Only Trust Your Heart; Falling In Love With Love; Speak Low (II); Whims of Chambers.
Personnel: Dan Nimmer: piano; Peter Washington: bass; Lewis Nash: drums.
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.