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The Other Side of Standards by Various Artists

Basically, there are two reasons to record a standard. You either want to tribute a previous version, or you're trying to make the tune yours. Many fine players are here, and you know the path they take.

First we step lightly: Joel Frahm creeps into "Soul Eyes", exotic rhythms behind him. The tone is old, a gravelly waver; a taste of Trane but hardly a copy job. Dewey Redman has a grand time with "I Should Care": that lonely-corner mood, graced with a sinuous bass. Hear this and you know Dewey's a romantic at heart. And you will love the feeling.

The middle tunes take us afar, to near and unlikely ports of call. "The Cobra" is a West Coast tune, but a South Coast version: the Latin Jazz Orchestra adds a montuno, and a killer baritone sax. "Fall" is a different place: New Age vibes and guitar swoops that are .... other worldly. Nearby, a concert hall: Matt Wilson's "Hey There" is chamber music, a clarinet warbling as a sax has its say. Intimate, and oddly formal, which you can't say for "Georgia". There's tangy guitar and down-home Greg Hatza, who does his best Jimmy Smith. If this don't get your mojo workin', nothing will.

"Coltrane" takes a while to get started, but give it time. David Berkman pushes the blues, and slowly blossoms with Tyner splendor. With Rumba Club, "Meaning of the Blues" fits slow horns on spirals of rhythm; a sad song, but a lively mood. And Steve Million, a Monk aficionado, has a ball with "Boo Boo". He starts dainty, and the horns barrel in with familiar sonorities. Respectful of Monk, but it follows its own way - the other side of standards, and there's a lot of that here.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Various Artists
  • CD Title: The Other Side of Standards
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 1999
  • Record Label: Palmetto Jazz
  • Rating: Five Stars
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