A Letter to Dexterby George Cables
Pianist George Cables, who spent some of his formative years accompanying saxophone great Dexter Gordon, pays tribute to the man with a nicely varied collection of tunes written by or associated with Gordon, A Letter to Dexter. His trio is filled out by fellow Gordon alumni Rufus Reid on bass and drummer Victor Lewis, both of them now giants in their own right. Cables has a decorous and romantic playing style, and combined with a rhythm section as mighty as this one, the results should be magnificent. And so they are, at least most of the time. Unfortunately, there are occasional moments when the rhythmic thread is lost and the groove falters. This usually happens during piano solos: listen carefully, for example, to the way the bass and drums wander off-groove during Cables' first chorus on "Fried Bananas." But most of the album is a delight. The trio's take on the Gordon composition "Cheesecake" is powerful and relentlessly swinging; "I Told You So," a Cables original, has a wonderfully lilting Caribbean flavor, and Cables' solo rendition of "'Round About Midnight" is another treat, an unusual and highly intelligent interpretation characterized by staccato phrasing and pleasingly Monk-ish touches of dissonance. Also noteworthy is Reid's gorgeous bass solo on "Polkadots and Moonbeams." Recommended.
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- Kind Of Blue
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