Debbie Poryes

Catch Your Breath

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Debbie Poryes likes to use a loping approach to the piano, as it quickly becomes clear on Catch Your Breath. On the album, her second release as a leader, she works her way through a set built upon both her own compositions and standards from the Great American Songbook. The album opens with the title track, a piece that simultaneously uses stepping motifs from post-bop piano and a classic sort of urban saxophone approach courtesy of Bruce Williamson. With Irving Berlin's peppy "I've Got the Sun in the Morning," she goes to a more standardized approach, playing straightforward nightclub jazz, missing only the clinking of glasses and background chatter. As the album moves on, through a more solemn "Willie's Waltz," back to the songbook with pieces by Rodgers & Hart and Sammy Cahn, and into Beatles territory, the tone remains somewhat similar. This is nightclub jazz, with a peppy, slightly joyous approach to the keys and a classic, if not necessarily exploratory, approach to the sax. Solos and duos are common, with extraordinary attention paid to the details of the compositions along the way and an excellent ear for the chord progressions. This is the prototype for well-constructed jazz standards in both composition and performance. A fine way to spend an hour.

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