Roland Hanna

Plays Gershwin

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Most of the ten compositions written by George Gershwin have been covered numerous times on jazz recordings, so finding fresh approaches to them is a great challenge. Fortunately, Sir Roland Hanna is up to the task. This 1993 studio session kicks off with a funky "Summertime" that includes Bill Easley's hot soprano sax, though Hanna's lively choruses make up its focal point. "Lady Be Good" has a delightful, disguised introductory vamp as Hanna toys with the listener. Easley's full-bodied tenor is present in the snappy rendition of "Embraceable You," which drastically reworks the original piece so much that the label carelessly labeled it "Embrace You." Hanna's mastery of the ballad form is most evident in his luxurious take of "Bess, You Is My Woman Now," with Easley adding a haunting flute solo in a touching duet. Bassist Jon Burr and drummer Ronnie Burrage provide strong support for this very reasonably priced CD from Laserlight.

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