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Album Review

One of the greatest challenges that jazz musicians face is seeking fresh approaches to well-known songs. Fortunately, pianist Jon Alberts has performed with his bandmates for the past two decades and they make familiar music sound new. Bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer Tad Britton make the most of the subtle take of "On Green Dolphin Street," in which Johnson's accompaniment and solo lines resist predictable paths and Britton's stripped-down drum kit works wonders, especially with his soft tapping of the cymbal, while Alberts' variations on this chestnut never lose steam. There are three pieces associated with the late pianist Bill Evans (though he only wrote one of them). Johnson introduces Miles Davis' modal masterpiece "Nardis" with a slow, eerie, two-minute solo before Britton and Alberts join him, yet they keep the theme simmering without ever resorting to letting the tempo boil over, as Evans preferred to do. Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way" has been widely recorded by numerous jazz musicians, though Alberts' jagged, abstract approach is far from typical. Evans' "Turn Out the Stars" is a moody ballad played in an introspective manner before an audience at the trio's regular venue, the Fu Kun Wu Lounge in Seattle, which is owned by the leader. Alberts also works wonders with a pair of Thelonious Monk's songs, included a free-spirited "Bemsha Swing" and a tense "Misterioso," along with a fine impressionistic take of guitarist Mick Goodrick's "Summer Band Camp." For some reason, composer credits are missing, though seasoned jazz fans will be familiar with every song. Recommended.

Apothecary, Jon Alberts
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  • €8.91
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 21 July 2009

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