Steve Gilmore

Reflections in the Night

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Steve Gilmore is best known as Phil Woods' longtime bass-playing partner, and Bill Charlap was, at the time of this recording, Woods' pianist; guitarist Steve Brown is a music professor at Ithaca College. The music contained herein is pleasant enough -- a collection of seldom-played standards, with a couple of Gilmore originals thrown in. The record could have as easily been made in 1956 as 1996; the laid-back, gently swinging bop vibe is either timeless or dated -- it's unsure which. Gilmore is a fine, unflashy player, possessed of more than adequate chops and exquisite taste. (That said, he should probably avoid bowing his instrument; the strained and barely in-tune arco introduction to the title track is not his finest moment.) Guitarist Steve Brown has a nice unfussy manner, and pianist Bill Charlap is a decent -- if unoriginal -- player. As much as one has to respect Gilmore, there's little that's exceptional about this disc. Perhaps the presence of a more formidable soloist would have helped, but neither Charlap's bland proficiency nor Brown's casual lyricism strike any sparks. Pretty music, but little more.

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