Elmo Hope

The Elmo Hope Memorial Album

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The sequence of tunes on this mid-'50s piano trio date was shuffled slightly in some of the reissues, the main idea seeming to be to bring on the Elmo Hope original entitled "Huh" a bit earlier in the program. Hope springs eternal, whether playing through a show tune or one of his crafty originals. He seems to have an idea how to make a tune sound different with just a few different shadings or a clever rhythmic impulse. His "All the Things You Are" is refreshing, a bit like hearing the tune for the first time, and the pair of Rodgers & Hart compositions are both beautiful and touching. Bassist John Ore and the underrated drummer Willie Jones were one of this pianist's best rhythm sections -- all three men bear down on "Blue Mo," the album's final and longest track, as if they had ordered the presidential barbecue plate.

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