John Bunch

Solo, Vol. 1

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John Bunch has long been one of the top swing-oriented pianists (along with Johnny Varro and Ray Sherman) and is greatly in demand for mainstream dates. On what was only his second set of accompanied piano solos (there was a date of Kurt Weill tunes for Chiaroscuro in the 1970s), Bunch's relaxed melodic approach often brings to mind Teddy Wilson. The melodies on this date -- including "Keepin' Out of Mischief Now," "Body and Soul," "Bess You Is My Woman" and "Sugar" -- are mostly pretty familiar, with the exception of Jimmy Rowles' "We Take the Cake" and the closing blues "John's Bunch." Because the material includes many warhorses, Bunch's ability to bring out the beauty in melodies and to uplift standards is a major joy. His subtle creativity in giving the tunes little adjustments results in an easily enjoyable set of swing music, one of his best all-around recordings.

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