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Two Hearts

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Album Review

Dick Oatts is a name well known to seasoned jazz fans, who recognize him for his work as a sideman with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra (and its descendant, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra), Red Rodney,Bob Brookmeyer, Jerry Bergonzi, Fred Hersch, and others, along with his partnership with pianist Garry Dial. Most of Oatts' recordings as a leader have been for European labels, such as this 2009 session for Steeplechase, his seventh for the Danish company. The focus is on ballads, with Oatts looking to build upon each melody in a creative fashion without losing its essence, something that he does consistently throughout the date. Accompanied by pianist Michael Weiss, either Ugonna Okegwo or David Wong on bass, and drummer Rodney Green, Oatts' renditions of the nine standards plus one well-known Duke Ellington gem, the alto saxophonist gives a virtual master class to young jazz musicians (being a veteran jazz educator as well) on how to construct an intelligent solo built upon a familiar theme without resorting to showboating. The brisk rendition of "You Don't Know What Love Is," the brisk, angular setting of "Yesterdays" and the refreshingly unsentimental take of "Angel Eyes" are among the highlights, but simply put, all of the music is rewarding.

Customer Reviews

Oatts Review-by Otis!

Sounds Great! Dick played beautiful flute parts and solos on a chart I wrote recently for Gerald Wilson. I'm excited to see this new release from a fine player like Dick Oatts!

Great music, poor documentation by SteepleChase

The album is great and deserves the four stars here and the 4 1/2 stars from downbeat. When the songs download from iTunes, the documentation is messed up and some songs are attributed, as player, to Dick Oatts but some also attributed to Duke Ellington, Victor Young, Matt Dennis, Richard Rogers and Jerome Kern as musician. The manufacturer should find a way to fix this error. Great music though despite this small issue. I only note it because if look for music by musician, you will have a problem locating it.

Smooth Ballads and Standards

This is a great collection of standards and originals, with many ballads. The band is in top form and works seamlessly together. Not a note jars the ear and it all goes down smoothly. This is a gorgeous serving from one of the long time members of the Village Vanguard Orchestra.

Two Hearts, Dick Oatts
View in iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jun 10, 2010

Customer Ratings