David Leonhardt

Jazz for Dancers

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If there is one word to describe the musical qualities of David Leonhardt, besides being talented, it's multicolored. This man is adept at all ways of presenting jazz music, running from small combo presentations of his own interesting compositions to Music Minus One-like training sessions for tap dancers, with the taps to be provided instead of an instrument. On this 2000 release, Leonhardt and his trio turn their attention to what they believe to be one of the original purposes of jazz music, dancing. Certainly that was true during the dark days of the Depression when people on the down and out could go to cheap halls and dance their woes away either in marathon dance contests or just for the fun of it. The music is designed to lure people to the dancefloor for three to five minutes of music that encourages tripping to the light fantastic in a civilized manner. There are tunes for slow, body-to-body dancing, such as "Cheek to Cheek," others calling for a little more individual expression such as a dancehall version of "Blues in the Night," as well as opportunities to show off Latin dancing skills with "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars." All of this fine music is provided by the trio in a relaxed, elegant, non-threatening manner with Leonhardt getting solid support from Bruce Cox on drums and Lee Hudson on bass. One does not to be a Fred Astaire or a Michael Jackson to get up and weave to these lovely classic standards flawlessly performed. If one doesn't have the wherewithal to purchase a lot of albums, but is interested in hearing as many of the different types of jazz as possible, turning to Leonhardt's comprehensive discography is a reasonable option.

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