Steve Smith

Reimagined, Vol. 1: Jazz Standards

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AllMusic Review by

Drummer Steve Smith and his quartet (comprised of Michael Zilber on tenor and soprano, pianist Paul Nagel and bassist John Shifflett) live up to their CDs title by performing sometimes radically-reimagined renditions of 11 jazz standards. "All Blues" is a bit spacey (with Zilber on soprano), "Mood Indigo" is taken uptempo with Zilber's tenor sounding a bit like Wayne Shorter in the mid-1960s, "Freedom Jazz Dance" is a postbop romp, "Manteca" is stripped of its Latin rhythms and played in 7/4 time, etc. Although the melodies to the famous songs are still present, the tunes have been reharmonized, tempos and moods have been changed, and the results are very fresh looks at a variety of standards. This set is full of surprises and well worth exploring and savoring.

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