Beegie Adair

Into Somethin'

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Unlike most of Beegie Adair's albums, which serve as tributes to songwriters and performers and present her piano interpretations of their music, Into Somethin' has no particular theme; rather, it serves as a showcase for Adair's musical approach. Also, it eschews the piano trio format of many of her other discs, with her solo piano occupying the spotlight, except when she cedes it to a guest vocalist or horn player. That happens several times on the album, as singers Roy Agee, Jim Ferguson, and Jeff Hall take the lead on the Adair originals "Try Again" and "Miss Ferguson, I Presume," as well as "No Way Out." The last track also features Agee's trombone, although his main instrumental showcase is on the Gershwins' "They Can't Take That Away from Me." Trumpeter Rod McGaha, meanwhile, is heard on "Lovesick Blues" and "Here's That Rainy Day." Whether Adair is on her own or supporting one of her fellow performers, she takes her usual tack at the interpretations, preferring musical embellishment and style over improvisation. The melodies are never in danger of disappearing, even if Adair or one of the horn men add or subtract notes, or vary the time. She may be playing a pop standard or even a jazz favorite such as Thelonious Monk's "In Walked Bud," but she is not going to take too many liberties. As a result, her playing is always entertaining, if rarely challenging.

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