Travis Shook

Travis Shook Plays Kurt Weill

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Travis Shook, a fine pianist who does not record often enough, performs six Kurt Weill compositions on this enjoyable if safe set. "My Ship," "Alabama Song," and the second version of "Lost in the Stars" are played by his trio while vibraphonist Bryan Carrott guests on "September Song." Veronica Nunn takes vocals on the first version of "Lost in the Stars" and "Lonely House." "Lost in the Stars" also includes two cellos, trombonist Ron Westray, and tenor saxophonsit Kebbi Williams. Both horns are featured on "Mack the Knife" and Westray helps out on "Lonely House." The most rewarding selections are "Alabama Song" and "Lonely House" while "Mack the Knife" is a disappointment because it has been modernized and given modal chords, stripping away the ironic joy usually heard in the song. Overall, the music is well played and swinging but not particularly adventurous or surprising, other than the downbeat "Mack the Knife." The results are quite musical and worthwhile but fall short of essential.

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