Si Perkoff

Jazz at Home

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Like another trombone player of some note, Bob Brookmeyer, Si Perkoff is also an adept piano player. This album celebrates his acquisition of a 1906 Model "O" six-foot Steinway. Thus, the recording studio for this session was Perkoff's San Francisco living room. Most of the cuts are standards, with Perkoff originals mixed in. The pianist is very versatile, not being susceptible to pigeonholing in one style or another. "Si's Boogie," for example, is a takeoff on "Pinetop Smith's Boogie Woogie" with a couple of Earl Hines licks thrown in. Perkoff takes this occasion to give a six-minute capsulized history of boogie-woogie. Perkoff has a rococo side to him, which he displays with a flourish on such ballads as a heartfelt "Autumn in New York." One intriguing Perkoff hallmark is the way he introduces each tune. It may in no way be related to how the chorus will come out, which is often a surprise. You can hear this technique on such tunes as "Opus One" and "Willow Weep for Me." The former is done at a nice relaxed pace, while the latter brings rococo into the game once more, complete with frequent arpeggios and changes of rhythms. This is one of the album's premier tracks. Perkoff also doesn't shortchange any of the tunes. He takes all the time he needs to say what he wants to say. Thus, there is more than 70 minutes of music on this CD, which is rather unusual these days when one is lucky to get 60 minutes. Perkoff's piano recital is a very enjoyable listening experience that is recommended.

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