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Old Friends

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Album Review

The versatile pianist and composer may be best-known in her home of Orange County, California as the organist with the Anaheim Angels, but in jazz circles, she's kicked it up with legends (Henry Mancini), straight-ahead legends in the making (Jeff Hamilton) and smooth jazz stars (Eric Marienthal, Kilauea). It's not surprising, then, that this solo project mixes so many different jazz-related vibes throughout. On the smooth jazz-oriented title track, her bright melody dances over the rolling grooves of John Patitucci's acoustic bass, and interacts beautifully with Albert Wing's funky sax. "It Leads You to Another" is a seductive. be-bop-flavored ballad which features Duquesnel playing harmony at times to Wing's restrained horn melody. The vibe keeps changing, as "Carmen" begins like a chamber music piece before bursting into a playful samba. She's at her most intimate on the Diana Krall tribute "Waltz for Diana," then has fun kicking it up on "Trottin'" (for Terry Trotter). Not that she needs a familiar standard in the midst of her own compelling compositions, but Miles Davis' "Solar" (with its tight Patitucci bass solo, and some of the pianist's best improvisational runs) adds an extra touch of jazz class. The original sessions for this remastered date took place in 1991, but the sound is fresh and contemporary — proving, perhaps, that great jazz, played by stellar musicians, is timeless.

Old Friends, Peggy Duquesnel
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