Eddie Higgins has been on the jazz scene for a long time, but he seems to be a best-kept secret by those able to track down his various releases for independent labels in the U.S. or Japanese titles, such as this one from Venus. This 2003 session features the veteran purely as a soloist, performing a dozen of his favorite ballads. While most of them are time-tested standards such as the elegant "My Funny Valentine," the shimmering "Beautiful Love," or "Skylark" (with an Asian-sounding introduction that suggests the humor of its composer), there are some lesser-known gems as well. The bittersweet ballad "Yellow Days" hardly pops up on many jazz CDs, though Higgins' richly textured arrangement should attract other musicians to it. Even though one doesn't hear the lyrics to "Again," this seasoned pianist seems to get across the implied apology to a loved one for a senseless quarrel. "Dance Only with Me," an overlooked jewel by the masterful songwriting team of Comden, Green, and Styne, is arranged as an elegant, deliberate waltz. Recorded and mixed in glorious 24-bit digital sound, this is easily one of Eddie Higgins' best all-around recordings.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden