Harry Schulz

Havin' a Ball

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Harry Schulz is a singer working within the intimate circle of Lennie Tristano acolytes. On his debut session, he ventures a set of well-worn songs, all from the core of vehicles favored by those associated with the late pianist and teacher. It's to his and his cohorts' credit that they breathe life into them. Credit Schulz also for the daring to have his voice recorded without reverb and pitch correction. When he reaches low, as on "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You," his intonation wavers some, but overall he fares well and the CD wears well after several listens. A good part of that is due to the head accompanist, guitarist Andy Fite. Fite plays with a stringy, lithe tone that harks back to the earliest days of electric guitar. He likes to invoke the familiar without ever stating it. His solos swing intently, skirt the expected, and are always open to musical digression. Schulz and Fite also collaborated in writing a trio of original songs; all sound like pastiches, both musically and lyrically, of their well-loved forebears. The best is "Haunted By Perfume," a minor-keyed piece that develops its central image with a wry bit of humor, an element missing from the other originals, but not from the renditions of the better-known material.

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