Lenore Raphael

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Lenore Raphael is one of many veteran jazz artists deserving of wider recognition who has successfully turned to issuing CDs on her own label. This live set at St. Michael's Theater in New York City features the pianist in top form with her trio, bassist Hilliard Greene and drummer Rudy Lawless. She digs into "Yesterdays" by substituting a catchy bass vamp for the normal chord changes to build tension. Raphael's dreamy arrangement of "My Foolish Heart" is lyrical without being overly sentimental, a heartfelt performance. She tears through Sonny Rollins' "Oleo" and a offers a suitably intricate interpretation of Clifford Brown's "Joy Spring," buoyed by Greene's fluid support. Her originals include the lively "Blues for O.P." (presumably for Oscar Peterson, though the liner notes don't explain the title) and the quirky bop vehicle "Birds in Flight." Lenore Raphael's first live recording makes for thoroughly delightful listening any time of day.

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