Joel Forrester

Stop the Music

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Joel Forrestor was, with Philip Johnston, one of the creative geniuses who made up the Microscoic Septet. Since that group dissolved, Forrestor has ventured out on his own with a fair degree of success, especially on this solo piano CD. He wrote the quirky theme for the National Public Radio series "Fresh Air," which is presented here as a solo miniature that's even more intriguing than the small band arrangement featured every weekday on the program. He blends two well-known standards into a playful stride vehicle in "Summertime in St. Louis Blues." Forrestor also demonstrates a knack for boogie-woogie, covering the hypnotic but obscure "Fate" (previously recorded only by Meade Lux Lewis and attributed to a long-forgotten band from decades earlier) and his tasty original "Back Talk." The pianist also can create a beautiful ballad like "1000 Pardons" without resorting to syrupy sentimentality.

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