Harold Danko

...This Isn't Maybe

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Harold Danko is a talented pianist who deserves wider recognition than he's received during his long career. This moving solo CD is his tribute to Chet Baker, with whom he played for a number of years. There are a number of surprises, including two of Tadd Dameron's lesser-known but brilliant compositions; "Whatever Possessed Me" is bittersweet without excessive sentiment in Danko's hands, while "Gnid" is gently swinging bop. Another obscure work is Phil Urso's "Way to Go," which Danko turns inside out with a driving improvisation. Of course, there are lots of standards as well; particular standouts include some richly textured arrangements of "Gone With the Wind" and "The Touch of Your Lips," and the stunning finale of "This Is Always." If Chet Baker had lived to hear this tribute, he would have been very pleased with his old sideman.

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