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Waiting In the Wings

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Album Review

Pianist Geoff Keezer, only 17 at the time of this CD (his recording debut as a leader) was most strongly influenced in the early days by McCoy Tyner (purposely on his "Babes of McCoyland") but at this point he was already a confident and technically brilliant player with strong signs of developing his own style. His seven compositions are excellent vehicles for improvised solos (each song has its own personality) and his often-stormy piano (heard on five sextet feature, a quintet performance, four trio showcases and an unaccompanied "I Didn't Know About You") pays tribute in its own way to Phineas Newborn, Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington. Although often confined to short concise solos, Keezer's sidemen are not overshadowed. Bill Pierce, the best-known of the players, is cooly passionate on his ballad feature "Pierce on Earth" and he makes a good team with the Freddie Hubbard-inspired trumpet of Bill Mobley. Vibraphonist Steve Nelson recalls Bobby Hutcherson in his early days while bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Anthony Reedus are excellent in support. Recommended.

Biography

Born: 21 November 1970 in Eau Claire, WI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Geoff Keezer was only 17 when he became the last pianist in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1988-1990), a perfect gig for the talented hard bop musician who fit right in with the tradition of Horace Silver, Bobby Timmons, Cedar Walton, James Williams, and Benny Green. Since Blakey's death, Keezer has recorded steadily as a leader for Sunnyside, Blue Note, DIW/Columbia, and Sackville and played on records led by Art Farmer, Roy Hargrove, and Antonio Hart, among others. Geoff Keezer has also performed...
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Waiting In the Wings, Geoff Keezer
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