Beegie Adair

The Way You Look Tonight: The Romantic Songs of Jerome Kern

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Beegie Adair has long been a staple on the Nashville jazz scene. This tribute to Jerome Kern was one of six CDs issued individually and also as a part of a boxed set. With the support of bassist Roger Spencer and drummer Chris Brown, Adair tackled the formidable challenge of creating fresh arrangements of a baker's dozen of Kern's compositions. Her lush introduction to "All the Things Your Are" is a refreshing change from the almost-mandatory B flat theme created by Dizzy Gillespie. She also reverts to its original relaxed ballad setting rather than making it a bebop racehorse. "Yesterdays" was one of Art Tatum's favorite vehicles, which he turned into a virtuoso showstopper. Adair interprets it as a ballad, with Brown's Latin percussion suggesting a late-night walk on a lonely Caribbean beach as the piano brings to mind the song's wistful lyrics. Many of the other songs were once popular standards among jazz musicians but had fallen out of favor by the 21st century; Adair's interpretations prove that there is plenty of life left in these old chestnuts.

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