Bill Charlap Plays George Gershwin: The American Soul

Bill Charlap Plays George Gershwin: The American Soul

by Bill Charlap
     
 
Pianist Bill Charlap is passionate about the Great American Songbook and the artists who created its core foundation. His third concept album to focus on a single iconic composer sets its sights on George Gershwin. In league with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, his longtime trio mates, Charlap performs bracing interpretations of some of the

Overview

Pianist Bill Charlap is passionate about the Great American Songbook and the artists who created its core foundation. His third concept album to focus on a single iconic composer sets its sights on George Gershwin. In league with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, his longtime trio mates, Charlap performs bracing interpretations of some of the master’s most beloved work, displaying his superb abilities as an inventive improviser as well as a superior stylist who can extract poetry from a straightforward reading of a song’s melody. Granted, this trio has a lot to work with; Gershwin’s magnificently crafted songs can stand by themselves as self-contained works of art. But Charlap and company’s affection and respect for the material is apparent at every turn, providing further wonderment. The trio is aided by the presence of legendary saxophonists Phil Woods and Frank Wess, the virtuosic trumpeter Nicholas Payton, and the estimable trombonist Slide Hampton, who add tonal heft and variety to a number of tracks. With his fourth consecutive gem on Blue Note Records, Charlap demonstrates his uncanny ability to produce consistently intriguing albums. He’s fast becoming a national treasure.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Scott Yanow
Bill Charlap, a versatile pianist based in swing who is also a longtime member of the Phil Woods Quintet, pays tribute to the great George Gershwin throughout this likable set. Although some of the ten Gershwin songs are slightly modernized, the music is very much in the tradition. There are up to four horns on some numbers, with the best individual moments coming from veteran tenor Frank Wess on "How Long Has This Been Going On" (sounding a bit like Paul Gonsalves), trombonist Slide Hampton on "A Foggy Day," and altoist Woods whenever he plays. Charlap's longtime trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington is featured on "Who Cares?," and Charlap takes the brief closing "Soon" as an unaccompanied solo. Nothing all that revolutionary or revelatory occurs but the music is pleasing overall, swinging and creative within its boundaries.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/28/2005
Label:
Blue Note Records
UPC:
0724386066923
catalogNumber:
60669

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bill Charlap   Primary Artist,Piano
Slide Hampton   Trombone
Kenny Washington   Drums
Nicholas Payton   Trumpet
Peter Washington   Bass,Double Bass
Frank Wess   Tenor Saxophone
Phil Woods   Alto Saxophone

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Bill Charlap   Arranger
Buddy DeSylva   Composer
Will Friedwald   Liner Notes
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Ballard MacDonald   Composer
Joel Moss   Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,Audio Production
Torrie Zito   Orchestration
Carol Friedman   Art Direction
Amani Semadi   Design Producer

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