Various Artists

Last Night When We Were Young

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Pianist Fred Hersch organized this jazz project, a fundraiser in the fight against AIDS. All 13 performances are ballads and some of them (most notably Jane Ira Bloom's rendition of "In the Wee Small Hours") are quite touching. In addition to Hersch and Bloom, such artists as altoist Bobby Watson, the late pianist Dave Catney, vibraphonist Gary Burton, Toots Thielemans on harmonica, vocalists Janis Siegel and Mark Murphy, pianist George Shearing and Phil Woods (heard here on clarinet) all get to make contributions. The mood is consistently melancholy but rarely downbeat, superior music recorded for a noble cause.

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