First up, I want to revisit Marc Cary, the pianist whose recent paean to Abbey Lincoln, the solo outing "Marc Cary, "For the Love of Abbey" (Motema 2013), is outstanding. I wrote about it on May 17th but you will find many other sterling descriptions of the CD from other blogs and in the jazz magazines. Anyway, in going through the bins at Sally's Place last week, I stumbled upon his first release, "Cary On" (Enja 1995), a set of eight pieces of which six were composed by Cary and one each by Sonny Clark and Roy Hargrove. This is a straight-forward "in the pocket" jazz session featuring some very sure handed play and writing by Cary and a stellar supporting cast -- Roy Hargrove on trumpet, Ron Blake on tenor, Dwayne Burno on bass, Dion Parson on drums are the basic cast, abetted by guest shots by the flute of Yarborough Charles Laws and voice of Charlene Fitzpatrick (on "So Gracefully"). The bluesy opener "The Vibe" features just the piano trio, with the rest of the band appearing on subsequent songs. For example, Ron Blake drives much of "He Who Hops Around" at first, and then Hargrove pops in with a stellar solo; and "The Trial" is a lovely ballad-paced melody featuring Hargrove on melody. This is a nicely paced CD of varied tempos and moods from a very polished band, with a young but already dynamic Cary setting the pace.
On this new CD, Pozza plays a combination of his own compositions and some standards like "Get Happy", "Where or When", and "In a Sentimental Mood." Pozza is another in the line of lyrical, creative pianists from Italy that includes Enrico Pieranunzi, Stefano Bollani, and Franco D'Andrea, to name just three. From the standards side, "Get Happy" is a wholy original take on the tune, never losing the melody or lyricism but augmented with many inventive flourishes including a great solo from the bassist, Aldo Zunino; and pushed propulsively by the drumming of Shane Forbes. Pozza surrounds the standard with his own songs, a lyrical "A Jellyfish From the Bosphorus" and the romantic and exquisite slow tempo ballad "Love is the Way". The rest of the melodies are equally lovely and equally creative. This is a piano trio album for those who like Bill Evans, Enrico Pierranunzi, and others of that ilk, who play with a lyrical sense of style. Absolutely stellar.
Two great pianists, many great CDs.
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