Mike Garson

The Oxnard Sessions, Vol. 1

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This is a strictly acoustic set by pianist Mike Garson who has had a diverse and productive career. Most of the tracks (which include four alternate takes) feature Garson in a trio with the underrated bassist Brian Bromberg and drummer Billy Mintz. Bob Shepherd (on tenor and alto) and trumpeter Bob Summers help out in a mostly supportive role on two numbers. Garson is the dominant player throughout, sounding a bit like McCoy Tyner on "Without Self," showing sly humor on "Nothin' To Do Blues," giving "Tenderly" (particularly the second version) an investigation worthy of Lennie Tristano), adding some unexpected twists and turns to "Lady Be Good" and jamming over his own intense bassline in a duet with guitarist Rick Zunigar on "Solar." Recommended.

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