George Robert

Youngbloods

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This duo date features two of Europe's finest jazz musicians of the 1990s, George Robert and Dado Moroni, in a program that mixes exciting versions of standards and jazz compositions. "I Remember You" gets things off to a fast start, with Robert's alto sax and Moroni's piano inviting comparison to a match of Phil Woods and Kenny Barron. This comparison doesn't last, as these musical chameleons refuse to be pigeonholed; a mesmerizing "Lush Life," a driving "Easy to Love," and an emotional take of "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most." The duo also interprets classics from the jazz canon, such as "Stablemates" and Kenny Barron's "Voyage" (which has become one of the most frequently interpreted works of the post-bop era) with the same level of imagination. The only misfires occur when Moroni makes an ill-advised switch to a Fender Rhodes electric piano, badly dating Jimmy Woode's otherwise swinging "My Kind of World," as well as distracting from the beauty of Robert's lyrical clarinet on "Body and Soul" and a bossa nova arrangement of "East of the Sun." Robert also wrote three of the songs, including the lively gospel-flavored "Blues for Andy," the bittersweet ballad "Missing You," and the Latin-flavored "Pacific Sunset." Both of these talented musicians should command wider audiences as the 21st century progresses.

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