Thursday, February 28, 2013

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A wonderfully sparse and subtle offering from guitarist Philip Catherine, featuring Tom Harrell on flügelhorn and Hein Van de Geyn on bass. This drumless trio pays memorial tribute to Chet Baker with a tranquil, melancholy set of standards and originals, beginning with Miles Davis' "Nardis" and continuing with an extended Catherine original titled "Twice a Week." The set also includes a swinging "I Remember You," a mid-tempo "My Funny Valentine," and a nod to hard bop with Hank Mobley's "Funk in Deepfreeze." Harrell contributes two originals, "From This Time, From That Time" and "Songflower," while Van de Geyn weighs in with a dark waltz, "Soul Role." Catherine closes the album with his own angular, altered "Blues for G.T." Catherine's bright, twangy sound and tasteful use of vibrato, harmonics, octave leaps, and volume and chorus effects distinguish him from many other straight-ahead jazz guitarists. Van de Geyn proves himself to be not only an excellent timekeeper, but also a conversational ensemble player. And this stripped-down setting especially flatters the velvety, lyrical brilliance of Tom Harrell.


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