Rick Stone

Far East

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Guitarist Rick Stone's second release as a leader is a mixture of both familiar and less frequently played jazz works, along with a pair of standards that aren't heard very often. Accompanied by the highly in-demand pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Don Gladstone, and drummer Curtis Boyd, Stone employs a fluid style showing a variety of influences but remaining distinctive enough to not sound like a clone of any of them. "Yours Is My Heart Alone" unfairly fell out of favor for a long time, so Stone's boppish arrangement of this old chestnut is very welcome; Gladstone softly scats in octave unison during his bass solo. The bandmembers dig into Dexter Gordon's snappy "Fried Bananas" with gusto, while they also respond to a more laid-back bop vehicle like Bud Powell's "Dance of the Infidels." Saxophonist Bobby Porcelli (known for his work with T.S. Monk) wrote "Green House" (which has obvious allusions to both "Hot House" and "What Is This Thing Called Love?"); the quartet brings it to a boiling point. Stone's originals include the easygoing bop vehicle "Far East" and his enchanting "Lullaby for Alex."

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