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Album Review

The first of several trio dates by Bill Charlap for the Dutch label Criss Cross finds the pianist concentrating on a wide range of compositions by fellow jazz musicians, accompanied by bassist Scott Colley and drummer Dennis Mackrel. Charlap's driving hard bop interpretation of Ornette Coleman's blues "Turnaround" is a gem, as are his lyrical arrangements of Benny Carter's gorgeous ballad "Souvenir" and Phil Woods' memorable tribute "Goodbye Mr. Evans." His playful side comes across in his obtuse approaches to Charlie Parker's "Confirmation" and Jim Hall's "Waltz New" (which is a reworking of the chord changes to "Someday My Prince Will Come"). The only standard of the session is an extended treatment of "Alone Together," which begins with a haunting solo by the leader before evolving into an intense, introspective workout by the trio. This very enjoyable date is highly recommended.


Born: 15 October 1966 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Bill Charlap is one of the strongest mainstream jazz pianists on the scene and one of the most gifted interpreters of standards. He grew up in a musical household, as the son of Broadway songwriter Moose Charlap and singer Sandy Stewart. Taking to the piano at a young age, he went on to study at New York's High School of Performing Arts. He then entered college, but rather than finishing, opted to practice and gig on his own. Pianist Bill Mays soon took up Charlap's cause, recommending the young...
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Souvenir, Bill Charlap Trio
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