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Album Review

Electric bassists aren't all that common leading jazz record dates, but Dan Dean found a very unusual approach, which is playing duets with four separate keyboardists. Kenny Werner is a first-call sideman, leader, and soloist. His meeting with Dean in a superb take of the old warhorse "'S Wonderful" is full of twists, turns, and outright surprises, and while their interpretation of "Body and Soul" is considerably more subdued, it nonetheless shimmers. George Duke usually plays electric keyboards (though he did stick to acoustic piano for his Muir Woods Suite), so it is a treat to hear him on grand piano. His funky "It's On" is a catchy riff tune, while their dreamy setting of the standard "Stella by Starlight" reminds straight-ahead fans that Duke's chops are still very potent. It's particularly odd to hear an organ-electric bass duo, since the keyboardist usually handles the bassline by himself. Yet Larry Goldings and Dean work in tandem for an infectious take of "One Note Samba," a soulful "Georgia on My Mind" (with a nod to Ray Charles), and a hip "In Walked Bud." Dean and pianist Gil Goldstein meander into "All the Things You Are" via a side route before incorporating Dizzy Gillespie's famous added introduction, then take it down a more familiar path. Goldstein switches to accordion for "Lover Man" with Dean carrying the melody, possibly one of the most striking interpretations of this jazz standard. While the veteran bassist is better known regionally than nationally, this top-drawer effort should open a few doors for him.

Top Albums and Songs by Dan Dean

251, Dan Dean
View in iTunes
  • €9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 19 January 2010

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