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Album Review

The Sunnyside label made an auspicious debut in 1982 with this album, a fine duo session featuring pianist Harold Danko and bassist Rufus Reid, who worked together in the rhythm section of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. Starting off with a rollicking treatment of Thelonious Monk's "In Walked Bud," Danko and Reid share the spotlight. They interpret Jackie McLean's dramatic "Omega" with Reid playing arco as Danko builds upon its hypnotic theme. The duo's romp through Charlie Parker's "Red Cross" is yet another delight, while Wayne Shorter's haunting ballad "Penelope" is remarkable for its subtle arrangement. The pianist contributed two originals, including the shimmering, understated ballad "Pastoral Landing" and the appropriately lighthearted "Mirth Song," the latter suggesting children at play. Reid's "Elegy" features the composer prominently, a brooding piece that gradually unfolds as the tempo picks up. Highly recommended.


Born: 13 June 1947 in Sharon, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

An underrated but consistently creative modern jazz pianist, Harold Danko has been an asset to many sessions through the years. He graduated from Youngstown State University and played in big bands led by Chet Baker, Woody Herman, and Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, plus the combos of Gerry Mulligan and Lee Konitz and with his own groups. Danko, who has been on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and the New School, often teamed up with...
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Mirth Song, Harold Danko
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