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Duke Ellington Piano Solos

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Recensione album

For lovers of solo jazz piano, this Roland Hanna disc offers one of the most consistently enjoyable 46 minutes of music to be heard. Over the ten Ellington selections here (with the addition of Billy Strayhorn's "Isfahan"), Hanna finely works the subtle phrasing and singing tone he once plied in Mingus' band and perfected on many solo outings during the '70s and '80s. An appropriately introspective version of "In My Solitude" opens the program, setting the tone for this intimate and, at times, meditative consideration of some Ellington's finest pieces. Other ballad highlights include a hushed and melancholic "In a Sentimental Mood," as well as delicate and spacious readings of "Single Petal of a Rose" and "Isfahan." Hanna enlivens the mood a bit on choice, medium-tempo renditions of "Portrait of Bert Williams" and the Ellington/Strayhorn collaboration "Something to Live For," demonstrating his easygoing, stride-piano technique in the process. In somewhat stark contrast to the rest of the set, Hanna also includes an engagingly abstract rendition of "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good," rendering the familiar, blues-tinged theme almost unrecognizable. Hanna ends the set in upbeat fashion with a bravura performance of "Caravan." Bolstered by excellent sound, this top-notch set is a must for Hanna enthusiasts and highly recommended to all fans of straight-ahead jazz.

Biografia

Nato(a): 10 febbraio 1932, Detroit, MI

Genere: Jazz

Anni di attività: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

A talented pianist with a style diverse enough to fit into swing, bop, and more adventurous settings, Roland Hanna was one of the last in an impressive line of great pianists who emerged in Detroit after World War II (including Hank Jones, Barry Harris, and Tommy Flanagan). After serving in the Army and studying music at Eastman and Juilliard, Hanna made a strong impression playing with Benny Goodman (1958). He worked with Charles Mingus for a period in 1959, and went on to generally lead his own...
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Duke Ellington Piano Solos, Sir Roland Hanna
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