Mike Wofford Trio

Mike Wofford Trio & Quartet Plays the Music of Jerome Kern, Vol. 1-3

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Mike Wofford's three separate volumes of the music of Jerome Kern are combined in their entirety on this two-CD set. The pianist, accompanied by Andy Simpkins and drummer Jim Plank, mixes standards ("I'm Old Fashioned," "Yesterdays," and "I Won't Dance") with forgotten chestnuts ("Remind Me," "Lovely to Look At," and "All in Fun"), each of which is played with enthusiasm and imagination. One of the more unusual arrangements is the sparse miniature piano and percussion duet of the ballad "You Are Love." On six of the 22 tracks, Tom Azarello takes Simpkins' place and multi-reed man Anthony Ortega is added; he's heard on tenor sax on a brisk take of "Why Was I Born" and some occasionally wild clarinet on "Dearly Beloved," the latter which gives Plank an opportunity to play vibes as well. This collection of three studio sessions from 1980-1981 will begin to get harder to find with the demise of the Discovery label.

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