Herb Geller

You're Looking at Me

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For this 1997 recording, the underrated but great altoist Herb Geller doubles on soprano quite effectively and is joined by pianist Jan Lundgren, bassist Dave Carpenter and drummer Joe Labarbera. While Carpenter and Labarbera are fairly well-known players who are rated highly for their versatility and ability to sound tasteful and swinging no matter what the setting, Lundgren may be a new name to some. A virtuosic pianist from Sweden who appeared with increasing regularity in Los Angeles in the late 1990s, Lundgren can play in several styles, although here he mostly sticks to modern bop. His alert accompaniment behind Geller's solos and his own fresh improvisations uplift the music. The altoist interprets ten veteran songs, some of which (including "Summer Night," and the 1920s "Changes," Billy Strayhorn's "Orson," and "Restless," which is taken as a duet with Lundgren) are not performed that often. The final four numbers on the set are taken from Geller's musical depicting the life of Josephine Baker. The music on the latter cuts, which contains several strong melodies, easily fits into the 1950s/'60s bop style that is prevalent throughout this set. Highly recommended, and just one of several very rewarding Herb Geller dates from the 1990s.

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