Norm Kubrin

Thought About You

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Vocalist-pianist Norm Kubrin fronts a trio on Thought About You with guitarist Bob Hanni and bassist Don Coffman. The piano-guitar-bass arrangement probably seems less familiar today than piano-bass-drum, and places the style and approach of Thought About You in the '50s. The songs by names like Gershwin & Gershwin, Kurt Weill, and Johnny Mercer reinforce this connection to mainstream jazz. The set sways between mellow ballads like "Isn't It a Pity" to happier, medium-tempo songs like "It's a Wonderful World." Kubrin's vocal approach and choices of material partly recall Mel Tormé, though his straightforward style lacks Tormé's flair and flourishes. Kubrin really enjoys slowing ballads down to a snail's pace, turning them into intimate late-night conversations between himself and one or two barflies. He's equally contented with easy rolling songs like "Nice Work if You Can Get It," though overall, Thought About You is a relaxed set. Kubrin, Hanni, and Coffman are quite comfortable together, which seems like a prerequisite for trio work, and all three know when to jump in and when to stay out of one another's way. The solo piano and guitar work are solid, though the sparks never really fly thanks to the mellow material and the trio's mellow approach. Kubrin and company have turned in a respectable effort, sure to please mainstream jazz fans.

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