Andy LaVerne

Pianissimo

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AllMusic Review by

Andy LaVerne's series of studio dates for Steeplechase has been consistently rewarding, and this quartet date with tenor saxophonist Rich Perry, bassist Jay Anderson, and drummer Matt Wilson is no exception. They set a high standard with their opener, Billy Strayhorn's gorgeous ballad "Chelsea Bridge," which is indelibly associated with tenor sax great Ben Webster. But LaVerne's very soft, deliberate arrangement finds new facets within this long-treasured gem, while Perry finds his own voice with a provocative solo. Duke Pearson's "You Know I Care" isn't as well known, but this memorable interpretation will have listeners searching for the original recording as well. The balance of the session focuses on LaVerne's splendid originals. The plaintive "Shadow and Fog" showcases how well the musicians interact with one another, while the moody ballad "Magnolia" and the almost mournful "Where and When" are excellent examples of LaVerne's considerable skills as a composer. This is another outstanding session led by Andy LaVerne.

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