Best Jazz Reissue of 2000!
B. D. Tutt | London, UK. | 02/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dick Wellstood was a magnificent jazz pianist, and this solo CD, recorded live in 1981, catches him at the absolute peak of his form. Everything he could do is here, from fierce stride ("So In Love") through witty medleys to beautiful ballad playing ("Gee Baby"). He plays throughout with great verve and ebullience, and with the swing and eclecticism that characterised his playing in the 1980s. This is an enormously enjoyable CD.This CD was originally released on an obscure Chaz Jazz 2 LP set, but has long been unavailable. Chiaroscuro has done a great job in re-issuing it, and Wellstood fans will be heartened that the notes speak of re-releasing his other Chiaroscuro recordings.Just one complaint - "Jingle Bells" is omitted from the re-issue, and will apparently appear on a Christmas CD. Why? This is a wonderful CD. For fans of top class jazz piano it is self - recommending. I can't recommend it enough!"
Gripping solo piano album
T. Bekken | Austmarka Norway | 01/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The late Dick Wellstood was a musician who absorbed just about every style of jazz, and put it all together in his own eclectic mix of stride, blues, ragtime, bop (yes, bop!)and whatever else one cares to mention. On this live set from Hanratty's in New York, Wellstood comes across as a master musician - a performer with a total understanding of the tradition as well as with an ability to connect the past with the present, and indeed, with the future. The playing is never anything but brilliant, from the subdued ballads to the all-out stride bonanzas, and the choice of tunes is top notch. Another aspect, which is probably an aquired taste, is the piano sound. Even if the liner notes tell us that Wellstood personally hand-picked the piano used on this record, some listeners may find the sound a bit thin. However, this is overshadowed by the stunning musicianship evident on every track, and by the warm live ambience. Sometimes seen as 'just' a stride pianist, Wellstood was his own man with his own voice, and this recording is a discreet monument to his memory. Do yourself a favor; get this."