Dan Haerle

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Outside of fellow jazz faculty or up and coming musicians who may have acquired one of the many play-along CDs recorded by Dan Haerle for Jamey Aebersold's label, most jazz fans will likely be unaware of this veteran jazz educator and pianist. But it is obvious that he knows his subject and can cook with the best of them, as he renders fresh interpretations of standards and classic jazz compositions on this trio session. Joining him are Bob Bowman (a veteran of both the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra and the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band) and drummer Jack Mouse, a fellow educator who has recorded with trombonist Phil Wilson and vocalist Janice Borla. The leader is primarily a lyrical soloist, occasionally showing the influence of Bill Evans ("A Child is Born"). His soft bossa nova arrangement of Erroll Garner's "Misty" avoids the predictable path. Likewise, "On Green Dolphin Street" is noteworthy for its brisk percussive setting and Latin flavor. Unlike many pianists who lead trios, Haerle does not overly hog the spotlight, often showcasing Bowman after the initial chorus. Whether on brushes or utilizing sticks, Mouse plays perfectly and has some strong solo opportunities. This is an enjoyable session by three veteran musicians deserving of wider recognition.

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