Ben Waltzer

One Hundred Dreams Ago

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A harmonically advanced pianist, Ben Waltzer splits his trio set between his originals (some of which are based -- at least in abstract fashion -- on the chord changes of standards) and four veteran songs including the obscure Duke Ellington tune "One Hundred Dreams Ago." Bassist Matt Penman and drummer Gerald Cleaver are quite alert and constantly comment on whatever Waltzer plays. The highlights include "Our Rhythm" (which utilizes the "I Got Rhythm" bridge), the Waltzer waltz "Smeenus Smiles," the two sections of "Hymn and Blues Up High" (a spiritual and a medium-slow blues), the swinging "Soundcheck Blues," and a lyrical version of "I'm Through With Love." Ben Waltzer shows diversity in his playing and this is an excellent showcase for his lively, modern, mainstream style.

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