Hod O'Brien

Hod & Cole

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Pianist Hod O'Brien has a relatively rare date as a leader on this 1992 quintet session, with alto and soprano saxophonist Mark Kirk, guitarist Tony Purrone, bassist Steve Gilmore, and drummer Jeff Brillinger. Although the music of Cole Porter is the primary focus of the CD, O'Brien's burning blues "Cole Burner" serves as the introduction to this musical feast. Kirk contributed the graceful ballad "Remember When?" and adds some soulful tenor. There are also two pieces by written by Ervin Litkei, the medium samba "A Teardrop" (featuring Kirk on soprano sax, who also arranged it) and "Have You Got Any Dreams for Sale?," a lush ballad. But it is O'Brien's arrangements of Cole Porter's songs, both standards and infrequently recorded works, which will prompt repeated listening. "It's Bad for Me" and "Rosalie" are not familiar, but swing mightily in the quintet's able hands. Tony Purrone's solo over an upbeat bossa nova rhythm is a highlight of "Get Out of Town," while O'Brien takes center stage on the jazz waltz "Every Time We Say Goodbye." This is a very enjoyable date led by a musician who deserves to be recorded much more often than he is.

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