Pianist Dave Burrell is one of those rare birds who can do it all. For years, he built a strong reputation as a powerful accompanist to saxophonists Archie Shepp and David Murray, as well as a fine soloist on his own. Burrell is also known for some of his explorations of the American song, particularly the tunes of Jelly Roll Morton. Whether plucking the strings of the avant-garde or immersed in the jazz tradition, Burrell brings a delicacy and finery that define melody on his terms. For this simple, yet stately, set in duo with bassist Tyrone Brown, he displays his considerable talents in a diverse range of pieces, from Louis Armstrong's "Struttin' With Some Barbecue" through "Blue Moon" to John Coltrane's epochal "Giant Steps." In each instance, the pianist performs with such immaculate precision infused with emotional depth that each piece is a joy to hear. When was the last time you heard "Shortnin' Bread" played in stride, or a totally new interpretation of "Giant Steps"? On "Samba Rondo," Burrell steps out to show he has not lost his taste for free form, but he does it his way, with a catchy lyrical slant.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Loewy