Beegie Adair

Cheek to Cheek

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Jazz pianist Beegie Adair has undertaken a series of songbook recordings devoted to particular songwriters of the classic pop era, calling them the "romantic songs of," each one, even though she isn't particularly strict about that definition. This one of music by Irving Berlin is typical. (In what sense are "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "White Christmas," or "God Bless America" "romantic songs"? Since no one is singing the lyrics, maybe it doesn't matter.) Adair leads a trio through instrumental treatments that adhere closely to the melodies most of the time, although she does introduce variations and brief improvisations. More adventurous jazz fans may find the results tame, but casual music lovers can program this disc beside previously issued ones of the music of George Gershwin and Hoagy Carmichael to accompany a candlelight dinner.

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