Beegie Adair

The Nearness of You

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As part of a series of albums devoted to the work of classic pop songwriters, jazz pianist Beegie Adair turns her attention here to the "romantic songs" of Hoagy Carmichael. (It's hard to see how Johnny Mercer's lyrics to "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" or "Small Fry" could be considered romantic, but nobody's singing on this album, anyway.) Leading a trio, Adair addresses the melodies of some very familiar tunes in the jazz realm, such as "Stardust" and "Heart and Soul," along with some less-well-known Carmichael compositions such as "Memphis in June" and "One Morning in May." Invariably, she moves into embellishments and note substitutions, but never leaves the melodies for long. Fans of extensive jazz soloing won't find much to engage them here, but this and the other albums in the series could be put in a multiple-disc CD player and serve as the soundtrack to a romantic evening.

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