Tete Montoliu / Tete Montoliu Trio / Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen

Tête À Tete

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Tete Montoliu's fourth CD for Steeplechase is primarily a fun-filled trio date with bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath, frequent collaborators with the blind pianist. The influence of Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson is evident in his rollicking take of "What's New?" There are some tour de force solo features for the pianist, including Kenny Dorham's "Scandia Skies," one of the late trumpeter's best but still not widely known compositions, and a dramatic, almost dancing arrangement of Billy Strayhorn's moody ballad "Lush Life." Finally, the 20-minute "Catalan Suite" is a medley of five traditional folk songs from Montoliu's homeland, featuring the trio and as well as a fine solo by Pedersen; it's a shame one can't hear the words that accompany these joyous melodies. This is an essential CD for fans of the late Tete Montoliu.

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