Back To Basics is a marvelous collection of twelve straight-ahead jazz tunes performed by the Christoph Spendel Trio". Spendel plays the Bosendorfer Imperial Grand Piano, with Thomas Heidepriem on bass, and Kurt Billker on drums. Spendel, after the original issue of this album in 1988, joined the group Special EFX.The songs span a wide timeframe of jazz, from Sonny Rollins’ "Pent Up House" to Miles Davis’ "All Blues" to Herbie Hancock’s "Dolphin Dance". There are also four numbers written by Spendel, and one by Heidepriem. All three musicians show off their talents through the first nine cuts. I don’t mean to take away from their performance, but Spendel demonstrates the sheer beauty of this piano and his style, playing solo on the last three cuts. The interpretation of Victor Young’s "Stella by Starlight" is breathtaking, while it strays quite a bit from the original. Spendel makes liberal use of beautiful chords and phrasings, often using dissonant chords to bring home his point. This is followed by an inspiring arrangement of "All Things You Are", by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein. He produces a full sound and manages a toe-tapping beat simultaneously. The closer is Mal Waldron’s "Soul Eyes". Spendel sheds a set tempo in favor of an awesome freestyle treatment of a beautiful song.This 1995 Miramar Jazz Special series production is a gem of a CD. Check it out!