Charlie Shavers

Complete Intimate Interpretations

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Two similar albums have been reissued in full on the single CD Complete Intimate Interpretations. In both cases, trumpeter Charlie Shavers is accompanied by an unidentified string orchestra arranged by Sy Oliver. While the first set has a variety of standards, the second sticks to George Gershwin songs. In all but one case, the tempos are taken as slow ballads with the arrangements being disappointingly unimaginative and a bit dull. Shavers plays fine as usual but mostly sticks to very melodic statements. The lone exception is the 18th selection on the program, a version of "I've Got Rhythm" that is surprising in that it is performed at a heated tempo and the trumpeter takes a typically dazzling solo. He is also quite dramatic on "Summertime," but otherwise the music often borders on Muzak despite Shavers' playing. It is a pity that these potentially exciting projects are so sleepy and predictable.

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