Tardo Hammer

Tardo's Tempo

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Tardo Hammer is one of many veteran jazz musicians based in New York who deserve wider acclaim. The pianist's third CD for Sharp Nine, with bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Jimmy Wormworth, salutes a number of jazz greats. "The Last Time I Saw Paris" is a song that fell out of favor toward the end of the 20th century, but Hammer's interpretation acknowledges the influence of both Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell in a jaunty performance. Kenny Dorham's hard bop gem "Philly Twist" showcases Irwin's tight solo. The trio devours Tommy Flanagan's slightly off-center "Minor Mishap," while Bill Evans' constantly shifting ballad "Very Early" is stripped of its spaciousness and turned into an intense hard bop cooker. The influence of Art Tatum is apparent in "Little Man, You've Had a Busy Day," a brilliant effort. The leader's sole original of the date is the somewhat exotic minor blues "Journey to Liechtenstein." All in all, this is another great recording by Tardo Hammer.

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