A classic Previn jazz album
music fan | 08/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, this is not a substitute for the wonderful original West Side Story Broadway cast album. Instead, it is a jazz interpretation of the show's main songs, in Andre Previn's typical witty, understated style. Previn is inventive in his subtle way but does not violently alter the ideas of his friend and colleague Leonard Bernstein. This kind of jazz is far removed from the radically original work of Miles Davis and John Coltrane from the same period, but it is much further removed from the "jazz suites" of Claude Bolling mentioned by the reviewer below. Bolling wrote light, jazz-inspired pieces that are enjoyable but not especially imaginative. Previn's far more sophisticated album is a jazz classic."
It almost swings...
Michael J Edelman | Huntington Woods, MI USA | 12/20/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Andre Previn is a tremendously talented pianist and conductor, and he's working with Bernstein's greatest work... so why doesn't this really ever come together for me? It's clever, the band is tight, but it just never rises above the level of very competant playing.The problem, I think, is that this isn't jazz so much as it is a carefully arranged suite in the jazz style. There's no risk, no emotion, no excitement. Just very precise playing. In that, it reminds me of the Claude Bolling suites that were so popular in the 1980s. No dissonance, no dynamics, nothing to upset the tea party. If you like West Side Story, get the original Broadway Cast Recording (Larry Kert's "Something's Coming" will send chills down your spine) or Bernstein's recording of the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. This album unfortunately never rises much above the level of polite background music."
Richard D. Adams | Kansas City, MO United States | 10/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have a lot of his "jazz" trio albums which are now on cd. He might not always "swing like Peterson"; instead, his treatment of ballads is soluxuriously harmonic and melodic that it frequently takes my breath away. I think his
"Like Love" and "Like Blue" albums from this period are as good as this. And, as has been previously observed, his left hand work is incredible."