Hal Schaefer

Solo, Duo, Trio

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Pianist Hal Schaefer gets to display his skills in three contexts. He's most favorably presented in the solo setting, where the full range of percussive phrasing, sometimes impressive articulation, and tart playing stand supreme. The duo and trio tracks are less distinctive, partly due to the fact that bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Roy Mosca are solid pros but not dynamic improvisers, and also because Schaefer's solos sound more laid-back and less intense when he's plugging into two- or three-person dialogues. The 15-track CD is heavy on standards, and sometimes neither Schaefer nor his comrades have anything fresh to say.

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