Rein de Graaff

Duets

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AllMusic Review by

Dutch pianist Rein De Graaf is an unassuming performer, best known, perhaps, as a first-rate accompanist. As he shows on this recording, however, he is also a superb leader and soloist. Joined on half the cuts by American bopper alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, and on the others by bassist Marius Beets, De Graaf revisits popular standards including "What Is This Thing Called Love?," "Darn That Dream," and "Star Eyes." If there are no startling moments, there is a consistent commitment to high quality that is evident on every track. Charles McPherson is as steady as they come, and every note he blows seems to be perfectly chosen. Beets is also a fine partner for the pianist, his rich tone and choice notes a nice complement. None of these performers engage in any sort of flashy technique -- only a nicely honed structure that exudes life. Like a Tommy Flanagan or a John Hicks, De Graaf may not get the headlines, but listeners will be rewarded by his solid playing.

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