Christopher Dawson has gained a strong reputation at classic jazz festivals, where he often plays in a swing style influenced by Jess Stacy and Joe Sullivan. However his debut CD as a leader is a bit more modern, featuring him as a bop-based stylist quite comfortable on such pieces as "Woody n' You," Horace Silver's "Peace," "It's You or No One," and the Charlie Parker blues "Cheryl." The only hint of his life as a swing pianist is on part of "If Dreams Come True." Highlights of his fine CD include Dawson's romp on Warne Marsh's "Background Music" (based on the chords of "All of Me") and every time he indulges in close interplay with bassist Darek Oles. The program concludes with a change of pace, a classical-oriented duet with violinist Armen Anassian. This small-label set is a fine debut from a pianist deserving to be much better known.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow