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Being Alone

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Album Review

Hailing seemingly from times past in jazz, Paul West here takes on the older piano and vocal jazz repertoire, performing in a nice soft, lounge style. His tone is light and rather intimate, bringing out an atmosphere of the smallest clubs. As he strolls through the repertoire, highlights from an era past spring out piece by piece. The album opens up with a Fats Waller number, moving into some Van Heusen afterward. After a jaunt through a eulogy for Johnny Mercer, he hits a Randy Newman piece (which fits in well despite the time difference), and his sole original composition — the title track. Some Gershwin comes along, as well as a piece from Duke, working into the standard "Wee Small Hours of the Morning" to finish a small block. "Round Midnight" is somewhat out of place, but worked into the same format as the other pieces, and mixed with some Jerome Kern for good measure. Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia on My Mind" is played as a sweet instrumental, Irving Berlin and Sonny Rollins are combined into a medley, and the album ends on Sir Duke's "Prelude to a Kiss." Throughout the album, the tone always remains personal and sweet, and the comping on the piano is always up to the standards. Far from exploring new territory, West does an outstanding job of rediscovering the old territory. It's a gentle album made for anyone looking for an easy listen — it goes down smooth.

Being Alone, Paul West
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