Tommy Flanagan

Norman Granz' Jazz in Montreux Presents Tommy Flanagan Trio '77

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Impresario Norman Granz recorded many live sets by his favorite artists during the Montreux Jazz Festival in the 1970s for release on his Pablo label, but the many videotaped concerts from these years remained unreleased until a series of them were issued on DVD beginning in 2004. This 1977 trio set by Tommy Flanagan, with bassist Keter Betts and drummer Bobby Durham, finds all three musicians in top form. The pianist, widely respected for his flawless yet consistently inventive technique, kicks off the evening with a rollicking interpretation of Charlie Parker's "Barbados." Bobby Durham's explosive percussion is the centerpiece of "Heat Wave." Flanagan, known for his sensitive work as an accompanist for Ella Fitzgerald, showcases his lyrical side in a solo version of "Some Other Spring," with the band joining him for the second half of the medley, "Easy Living." Another lush solo follows, a gorgeous rendition of "The Star-Crossed Lovers," paired in another medley with a swinging trio performance of another overlooked gem from the vast Duke Ellington songbook, "Jump for Joy." Wrapping this exciting concert is an intricate workout of Dizzy Gillespie's "Woody 'n You" and a pulsating take of Kenny Dorham's "Blue Bossa." Highly recommended!

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