Jesper Lundgaard / Alex Riel / Kenny Werner


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This buoyant trio disc was recorded on the occasion of Alex Riel's 60th birthday. Joined by pianist Kenny Werner and bassist Jesper Lundgaard, the veteran drummer leads off with Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way," followed by a positively smoking "Bye Bye Blackbird." (Lundgaard's arco solo on the latter summons the spirit of Paul Chambers.) A stormy, mid-tempo "Autumn Leaves" culminates in a gorgeous piano cadenza that sets the stage for Horace Silver's glimmering ballad "Peace," which in turn segues directly into Thad Jones' "A Child Is Born." The trio gradually starts to cook again with "On Green Dolphin Street" and climaxes with a roaring "You and the Night and the Music." Werner concludes the program alone with his inventive, moving rendition of J.S. Bach's "Siciliana." There's an abundance of swing, simpatico, and sheer virtuosity to be heard. Frankly, these tracks testify to Werner's brilliance as effectively as anything he's recorded under his own name.

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