Albums

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Bebop - Released October 20, 2017 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released September 22, 2017 | Savant

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Bebop - Released April 15, 2016 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released October 23, 2015 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released August 4, 2015 | Savant

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Bebop - Released June 23, 2015 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released April 21, 2015 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released September 23, 2014 | Savant

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Bebop - Released June 17, 2014 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released January 21, 2014 | HighNote Records

Pianist George Cables pays tribute to various artists with whom he has played and/or been influenced by over the years on his 2014 album, Icons & Influences. Included are songs dedicated to, or strongly associated with, such artists as Bill Evans, Mulgrew Miller, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, and others. As with all of Cables' albums, Icons & Influences is a fluid, urbane album full of engaging modern jazz. ~ Matt Collar
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Bebop - Released July 23, 2013 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released March 26, 2013 | Savant

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Bebop - Released January 29, 2013 | Savant

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Bebop - Released October 9, 2012 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released July 17, 2012 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released May 22, 2012 | HighNote Records

Larry Willis mixes standards, jazz classics, and potent originals on this solo piano release. The sessions have a late-night, ruminative flavor, starting with a loping take of "This Time the Dream's On Me." His shimmering rendition of "Lazy Afternoon" opens with a spacious improvised introduction, while he makes great use of space in his interpretation of this ballad. The Ellington-Strayhorn songbook is represented by the former's whispering "The Single Petal of a Rose" and the latter's haunting "Lotus Blossom," both played with restraint, as these timeless pieces require few embellishments. The pianist's originals are just as impressive. "Sanctuary" was written for a project that included strings, though his moving solo piano arrangement is no less moving, suggesting an idyllic, isolated beach hideaway on a clear summer afternoon. "Blues for Marco," named for his co-producer, has a whimsical air, while "Silly Blues" starts like a ballad but quickly shifts to a laid-back, closing-hour blues. Recorded over two days on a top-notch Fazioli grand piano, this solo piano CD is easily among Larry Willis' best recordings. ~ Ken Dryden
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Bebop - Released October 11, 2011 | HighNote Records

Houston Person is a very versatile veteran tenor saxophonist who tends to get overlooked in critics' polls, yet his extensive musical resumé is ample proof that he is a jazz master. This 2011 session ranges from a duet to septet, with everyone playing compact solos, keeping all but one under the six-minute mark, a lost art in modern jazz. The rhythm section includes pianist John Di Martino (who regularly works with the leader), bassist Ray Drummond, and drummer Lewis Nash (whose respective resumés are likely as long as Person's), seven-string guitarist Howard Alden, plus cornetist Warren Vaché and trombonist Mark Patterson. Two less familiar jazz works stand out. The disc opens with the full septet playing a snappy rendition of Shirley Scott's "Blues Everywhere," with Person, Vaché, Patterson, Alden, and Di Martino all featured. Elmo Hope's "So Nice" is a perfect example of a midtempo bop gem, with a beautifully understated solo by Di Martino, Patterson's expressive chops, and the leader's buoyant, soulful tenor. There are several standards, including a richly textured "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" with Patterson's muted horn providing the perfect follow-up to Person's mellow opening statement, while the lush "Easy Living" suggests a late-night romantic atmosphere. The solo spotlight is equally shared by Vaché and Person in the shimmering, deliberate treatment of Duke Ellington's gorgeous "All Too Soon." Ironically, the longest track is a sensitive duet by Person and Di Martino, exploring a pair of Stephen Sondheim's show tunes, "Small World" and "Anyone Can Whistle." Highly recommended. ~ Ken Dryden
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Bebop - Released September 13, 2011 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released May 31, 2011 | HighNote Records

Etta Jones could flat-out sing, and she never failed to make the blues, jazz, and Great American Songbook standards she sang her own, especially in her many collaborations with tenor saxophonist Houston Person, who was as sympathetic a player as any singer could ever hope for -- Jones and Person simply clicked and understood each other as a duo. This joyous set was recorded live April 15, 2000 (a little more than a year away from Jones’ death in the fall of 2001) at the Tri-C Jazz Festival in Cleveland, Ohio, and features Jones and Person with the help of pianist Stan Hope, bassist George Kaye, and drummer Chip White. Jones sings with vitality and poise, transforming Gershwin's “Oh, Lady Be Good” from a jazz standard into a flowing blues, making old chestnuts like “What a Wonderful World” and “Don’t Go to Strangers” shine anew with a poignant wisdom. This set is both a pleasant listen and a fun archival recording -- it captures Jones and Person at their best in front of a nimble and flexible rhythm section. ~ Steve Leggett
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Bebop - Released October 26, 2010 | HighNote Records