Cedar Walton

One Flight Down

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Cedar Walton shows no signs of slowing down at age 72, demonstrating both experience and enthusiasm in this invigorating studio session. Accompanied by Vincent Herring (heard on tenor sax, but just on the first two songs), bassist David Williams, and drummer Joe Farnsworth, the pianist revisits two of his earlier compositions, "One Flight Down" and "The Rubber Man," that are among his very best. He then switches gears and offers an engaging medley of three favorite Billy Strayhorn standards. The playfulness of the brisk treatment of "Lush Life" removes its maudlin character. Likewise, the usually plaintive ballad "Daydream" benefits from adding a Latin rhythm and Walton's breezy interpretation. Farnsworth's crisp brushwork propels the fast rendition of "Raincheck." Williams is prominently featured in the late Sam Jones' "Seven Minds," though Walton delivers a stunning solo of his own. The one non-Strayhorn standard of the date is "Time After Time," performed at an easygoing tempo much closer to its original setting than typical jazz performances, though Walton doesn't mind adding a few fancy flourishes in his rollicking solo. Highly recommended.

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