Mike Melvoin

It's Always You

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This fine set from Los Angeles-based jazz and studio pianist Mike Melvoin is particularly special, for it features the great altoist Phil Woods as a sideman on the majority of the selections. Melvoin also utilizes Woods' regular bassist and drummer (Steve Gilmore and Bill Goodwin) on the five standards and his six straight-ahead originals. Melvoin's technique is impressive, he always swings, and he fits solidly into the modern mainstream of jazz. Woods, who did not record all that much in the early 21st century, is heard in prime form throughout, playing with fire and creativity while clearly enjoying the opportunity to be the star on someone else's date. And his spot on clarinet on "I'm Confessin'" is quite effective. All in all, this is a satisfying effort from the underrated Melvoin, and will be a joyful listen for fans of modern swinging jazz.

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