Something Sentimental

(Another) Nuttree Quartet

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Something Sentimental Review

by Ken Dryden

[Another] Nuttree Quartet is similar to the debut of the Nuttree Quartet's debut release issued in 2008, though this time, the personnel changes somewhat. Drummer Adam Nussbaum (whose last name translates from German to English as "nut tree") and guitarist John Abercrombie are once again on hand, with soprano saxophonist David Liebman replacing tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi and bassist Jay Anderson instead of organist Gary Versace. This quartet, whose members had known one another for several decades, gathered in the studio to celebrate the life of Nussbaum's recently deceased mother and it is clear that joy was present rather than sadness as these seasoned musicians worked their magic with eight time-tested standards. While "Poinciana" is all but owned by Ahmad Jamal with his famous recording, the quartet's intimate, conversational interpretation itself deserves high marks. "I Hear a Rhapsody" smolders in a trio workout, with Liebman making a delayed entrance well into the arrangement. They use a variation of Dizzy Gillespie's added introduction to "All the Things You Are," yet emphasize the lyricism of the original work rather than rushing through it to simply show off their chops. Abercrombie, Anderson, then Liebman take turns in the solo spotlight in the thoughtful exploration of "Lover Man," accompanied by Nussbaum's whispering brushes. Liebman switches to wooden flute in the haunting, exotic setting of "Besame Mucho," giving it a bit of an Oriental flavor. This is a brilliant effort that merits a follow-up record date.

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