Gordon Lee

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Like many jazz musicians, pianist Gordon Lee has made a living playing all sorts of musical styles as an accompanist, while occasionally getting to record a jazz date of his own. One of the first Portland-based artists to record for the fledgling label Diatic, Lee's engaging originals are the primary focus, mostly trio settings with bassist Andre St. James and bassist Carlton Jackson, highlighted by his haunting "Afternoon Shadows" and the ominous "Melancholy May." His two solo features include a dramatic original ("Shame, Shame" and a dreamy interpretation of Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood" that takes on a pastoral air. Tenor saxophonist Renato Caranto (who has also recorded as a leader for Diatic) is added on three duo selections, though the standard "Autumn Leaves" and Lee's gospel-flavored "Pepper Song" prove far more compelling than the Beatles' tired "Strawberry Fields Forever," which doesn't translate so easily into jazz.

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