Harold Danko

Wonderland

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Piano-bass duos rarely make up the contents of an entire CD, though pairing to seasoned artists like Harold Danko and Ron McClure seems obvious. Their program is full of surprises, including neglected works like Cal Tjader's lyrical waltz "Liz Ann" and Earl Hines' light-hearted swinger "I Do It Better at Night." Danko is a prolific composer, though the Bill Evans-flavored ballad "To Start Again" is his only contribution, while there are several delightful tunes by McClure, highlighted by the whimsical, bluesy "I Made You Laugh" that features an intricate walking bassline. Though Miles Davis never recorded his modal masterpiece "Nardis," Bill Evans popularized it with many different interpretations over two decades. Danko and McClure build upon Evans' explorations while finding their own path and managing to keep their version under the five-minute mark. The duo's "Stella by Starlight" is hardly a straight-ahead affair, as the two players sound as they are almost playing independently of one another, though "Beautiful Friendship" is a more conventional.

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