CD: Bill Charlap

Thumbnail image for Charlap Always.jpgNew York Trio, Always (Venus). This is pianist Charlap’s other trio, with bassist Jay Leonhart and drummer Bill Stewart rather than his Blue Note companions Peter Washington and Kenny Washington. In his eighth CD for the Japanese label he honors Irving Berlin by lovingly playing the melodies of ten Berlin songs, then improvising on the pieces with inventiveness, harmonic ingenuity and interaction with Leonhart and Stewart. Charlap’s keyboard touch and subtle use of dynamics, notable throughout, are captivating in the unaccompanied version of “Russian Lullaby” that ends the album.

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