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Lew Tabackin At His Best.....
Robert J. Ament | Ballwin, MO United States | 12/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ably supported by an individually well known rhythm section.
This is a varied program consisting mostly of lessor known material plus two standards.......a fine hard bop program.
The old standard "I Surrender Dear" leads off the set at an expected sedate tempo, at least for the first chorus, before transitioning into a real burner for the rest of the cut.
"Wise One", a lessor known Coltrane composition, is a hauntingly beautiful arrangenent featuring the eastern sounding flute work of Tabackin.
Don't expect the next standard, "I'll Be Seeing You", to adhere to the original melody.....because it doesn't; however it really turns out nicely eith a new look spotlighting the brilliant improvisational skills of Tabackin back on tenor.The whole quartet swings on this one with some fine drum breaks by Lewis Nash on the exchanges with Tabackin.
"Ruby, My Dear" is a fairly familiar Thelonious Monk tune done in a very smooth and beautiful ballad fashion.
"Chic Lady", written by Lew's wife, Toshiko Akioshi, is not familiar to me but is a pleasing medium tempo bop piece featuring Lew once again on flute and another display of Lewis Nash's fine drum work.
"Perhaps", another lessor known work, by Charlie Parker, besides the excellent tenor work also features some nice bass work by Peter Washington.
"Isfahan", which happens to be a personal Ellington favorite, is simply beautiful!
"Lost In Meditation" by Ellington provides the the final beautiful flute work by Tabackin done in a Latin tempo. Benny Green also has a nice solo on this one.
An uptempo "In Walked Bud" , another Monk composition, is an appropriate closer.
I could listen to this type of music all night! It's a good hard bop set with excellent musicianship displaying dynamite improvisation and presentation......without blowing you away or, putting it more succinctly, not getting on your nerves. I'm surprised that it is out of print since it was recorded in 1992 on the Concord label. However it is worth being patient and looking for at a reasonable price.
This will appeal to any jazz fan but in particular if one likes the artistry of Lew Tabackin in an excellent quartet setting of a hard bop set........a good addition to anyone's library."