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Ridin' High

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Album Review

Although he has never had much fame, Hod O'Brien was one of the top bebop pianists of the 1990s. His style is straight from Bud Powell and Al Haig (there are no Bill Evans voicings), yet does not sound derivative and reflects his own musical personality. On this excellent CD, O'Brien is teamed with bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Kenny Washington in a trio. He performs seven standards (including "There's No You," "You & the Night & the Music," and "Yardbird Suite") plus three of his swinging originals (highlighted by "Portrait of Stephanie" for his wife, singer Stephanie Nakasian). O'Brien has always been a very consistent player, so all of his occasional recordings are well worth picking up. This excellent outing is no exception.


Born: 19 January 1936 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

b. Walter Howard O’Brien, 19 January 1936, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Although his family, on his mother’s side, was musical, O’Brien was adopted when only six-weeks old. Fortunately, however, his adoptive parents were also musically inclined and he began playing piano as a child, listening to records by the stride and boogie pianists popular in the early 40s. Interviewed in 2001 by Jazz Journal International’s Gordon Jack, O’Brien declared that by the time he was 14 he was ‘hooked on bebop through...
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Ridin' High, Hod O'Brien
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