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Pianadelphia by Various Pianists

Pianadelphia shows off the talents of some of Philadelphia's best pianists, little known outside the area. As well, the CD pays tribute to Philly’s great jazz legends by having the players solo on tunes written by those who went on to jazz fame.

Producer Todd Horton brought this group together. He declares that this is the first in a series showcasing local musicians who play various instruments-thus, he says, there will be a Saxadelphia, Trupetadelphia, on down the line.

Each in this creative gathering puts his or her stamp, individually, on 14 compositions by the likes of John Coltrane, Benny Golson, McCoy Tyner, Hank Mobley, Jimmy Heath, Pat Martino, Bobby Timmons, Lee Morgan and Sun Ra. They take on standards with, exciting, creative interpretations.

Here are a few stand outs:

*Tom Lawton’s fast-paced, often discordant playing brings new life into Mobley"s "Third Time Around."

*Trudy Pitts’ stately ornate version of Coltrane’s "Naima," at over seven minutes the longest piece, packs an emotional punch, particularly when we read of her friendship for Coltrane’s wife, for whom the song was written.

*Dave Posmontier, on Golson’s haunting "Whisper Not," starts in low, then changes gears, bouncing along into an upbeat close.

*Jim Ridl brings a stimulating Monkish interpretation to Metheny’s "The Great Stream," striking dissonant clusters of notes in a furious atonal mix.

*Don Wilson’s arrangement of "Ceora," is the loveliest of the list, with his melodic chordal effects in a Bill Evans vein.

*Bill Schilling, on another Golson classic, "Stablemates," takes the jaunty melody apart with flourishes of Tatum-Peterson technical prowess.

Philadephia’s greatest exponent of soul, Timmons, gets his recognition with two of his tunes. Paul Sottile gets "Moanin’" going with a slow funky groove then later ups the beat and volume, ending in a hard-driving groove. On the other hand, Gary Moran gets right into "This Here," playing around with the tune before finishing quiet and soulful.

Then there’s Sid Simmons’s delicate touch on Tyner’s "Search for Peace" could go and on, but, suffice it to say, each track in its own way adds to one fine listening experience. Rocky Balboa would say, "Yo Pianadelphia!"

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Various Pianists
  • CD Title: Pianadelphia
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Soulsearch Music
  • Rating: Four Stars
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