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Album Review

In spite of his extensive discography as a leader or solo pianist, Harold Danko is probably better known by the average jazz fan for his work as a sideman in the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Lee Konitz, or Chet Baker, because many of his CDs have been for the Danish label Steeplechase. But hip fans who make the extra effort to shop on the web will discover easy access to the wealth of great music that Danko has recorded for the label since the mid-'90s, which features fresh interpretations of familiar songs along with deserving but lesser-known works. This trio session with longtime collaborators Michael Formanek on bass and drummer Jeff Hirschfield includes a tantalizing waltz setting of "All the Things You Are" and a shimmering interpretation of "Yesterdays" that brings out its melancholy air in a new light. Most musicians who play Kenny Dorham choose something well-known like "Una Mas," but Danko opts for "Brown's Town" and "Escapade," both of which the trumpeter recorded on dates with Joe Henderson. Henderson's "Serenity" is another gem uncovered and updated by Danko in a breezy setting with a Latin undercurrent. Escapades represents another important chapter in Harold Danko's extensive catalog.


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...
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Escapades, Harald Danko
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