I reviewed Bill Charlap’s new CD, Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein, in today’s Washington Post:
Not since Ahmad Jamal’s legendary trio of the 1950s has there been a jazz combo that blended uptown and downtown so seamlessly as does the Bill Charlap Trio. It’s equally at home in smoky nightclubs and I-kiss-your-hand-madam cabarets. You don’t have to know anything about jazz to enjoy its polished, elegant renditions of show tunes, but if you do, you’ll marvel at the savoir-faire with which the group saunters through Charlap’s quietly intricate arrangements.
If any part of that description piques your interest, then by all means give a spin to “Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein.” I wouldn’t be even slightly surprised if this near-flawless collection of 12 songs written by the man who brought you “West Side Story” turns Bill Charlap into the Diana Krall of jazz instrumentalists, a sophisticated artist whose albums are bought and loved by ordinary folks who don’t know the Village Vanguard from the Village People. “Somewhere” is that good — and that accessible….
Read the whole thing here.