Let's Call Stephen Riley
Lennart Ginman, Thomas Blachman, Heine Hansen & Stephen Riley
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The Danish trio GinmanBlachman, consisting of bassist Lennart Ginman, drummer Thomas Blachman, and pianist Heine Hansen, had planned a short tour with Benny Golson in the summer of 2010, though Golson's illness caused him to cancel. Recruiting tenor saxophonist Stephen Riley for the gig, the band liked what they heard and rushed to the studio to record after a few performances. Since there wasn't sufficient time to rehearse new material, the group opted for a mix of standards and time-tested jazz favorites. Right away the band features their guest extensively in the opener, a lush, vibrato-laden take of "You Don't Know What Love Is." Things open up a bit more in the easygoing boss nova treatment of "Yesterdays," in which Hansen shares the spotlight with Riley. Most of the balance of the CD is devoted to jazz works, including a delicious, bluesy take of Duke Ellington's "Black and Tan Fantasy," a breathy "Blue in Green," a rhapsodic "Chelsea Bridge" that recalls Ben Webster, and a tense, driving setting for Herbie Hancock's "Canteloupe Island." Riley is clearly having a ball sitting in with the trio, as they give him terrific support throughout the date.
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