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Album Review

Dutch pianist Rein De Graaf is an unassuming performer, best known, perhaps, as a first-rate accompanist. As he shows on this recording, however, he is also a superb leader and soloist. Joined on half the cuts by American bopper alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, and on the others by bassist Marius Beets, De Graaf revisits popular standards including "What Is This Thing Called Love?," "Darn That Dream," and "Star Eyes." If there are no startling moments, there is a consistent commitment to high quality that is evident on every track. Charles McPherson is as steady as they come, and every note he blows seems to be perfectly chosen. Beets is also a fine partner for the pianist, his rich tone and choice notes a nice complement. None of these performers engage in any sort of flashy technique — only a nicely honed structure that exudes life. Like a Tommy Flanagan or a John Hicks, De Graaf may not get the headlines, but listeners will be rewarded by his solid playing.


Genre: Jazz

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

Pianist. Dutch self-taught pianist who's made himself one of Europe's best session players. De Graaff led a trio from 1959 to 1962, then joined The Jazzopters for a year. He then headed his own quartet until 1964, at the same time playing with Erwin Some and Gijs Hendriks. De Graaff formed a new group in 1964 that stayed together until the '80s. He also played with a number of visiting American musicians, among them Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, Johnny Griffin, Art Taylor, Clifford Jordan, Cecil Payne,...
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Rein De Graaff: Duets, Rein De Graaff
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