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New York Trio: Always *

Album Notes

The New York Trio, led by pianist Bill Charlap with bassist Jay Leonhart and drummer Bill Stewart, exists exclusively as a band to record for the Japanese jazz market, as Charlap has a regular trio with Peter Washington and Kenny Washington, while both Leonhart and Stewart are busy session musicians who occasionally also lead their own record dates. These 2007 sessions focus exclusively on the extensive songbook of the prolific Irving Berlin. Most of the ten tunes heard on this CD have long since become standards and are frequently recorded by jazz artists. One that isn't typically heard as an instrumental is "I Got the Sun in the Morning" (from the musical Annie Get Your Gun), heard in a loping yet infectious interpretation. "How Deep Is the Ocean" is one of Berlin's most recorded songs, yet this version sizzles with energy, unlike the typical ballad treatments. Other highlights include the breezy, joyful setting of "Cheek to Cheek," with Stewart's whispering brushes propelling Charlap's buoyant piano, along with the bittersweet "What'll I Do," featuring Leonhart's intimate solo. Even though this isn't a working band, things seem to gel quickly for the New York Trio when the group assembles to record. ~ Ken Dryden


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