LABELS: Blue Note
WORKS: Live at the Village Vanguard
PERFORMER: Bill Charlap (piano), Peter Washington (bass), Kenny Washington (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: 97 0442
These tracks have been kept in the can since September 2003, but there are no doubts about their quality. Maybe there were some about their modishness. Charlap is a guardian of the great post-bop mainstream tradition.
His spiritual jamming-partners are Jim Hall, Bill Evans, Paul Desmond et al. His playing is the marker from which the departures of The Bad Plus, EST, Tord Gustavsen and Brad Mehldau are measured. I guess that makes him old-fashioned, but certainly not irrelevant.
Flanked by long-term cohorts, the sure-footed Washingtons, P&K, Charlap explores some of the best American songbook items. Arlen, Mercer, Rodgers, Hart, Duke, Young and Harburg are here, alongside jazz staples by Mulligan (‘Rocker’) and Wallington (‘Godchild’).
Cool and fresh, music this stylish is never passé. Never mind the hipness, feel the quality. Barry Witherden