What a nice concept for a jazz piano sampler disc! Telarc’s jazz side has quite a stable of great pianists to select from, and the programming of the 11 tracks is skillfully done. Three of the tracks are actually classical selections, with two of those coming from the Jacques Loussier Trio of “Play Bach” fame. Being from Telarc assures that the sonics are top quality on every track. One track gets a bit un-relaxed – the up tempo Capt. Hook in which Benny Green is joined by bassist Christian McBride and guitarist Russell Malone, but that avoids things getting too similar-sounding in mood. The final two tracks bring in symphony orchestra behind the keyboardist; the arrangement of Gershwin’s lovely Second Prelude played by Michel Camilo with the Barcelona Symphony is especially attractive. The notes have complete credits and reproductions of each CD cover and number, in case this taste of any one of track leads the listener to pick up on the whole album.
TrackList: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, She Has Gone, Variation I from Gynopedie No. 1, For All We Know, Summertime, Lullaby, It’s Only a Paper Moon, Captain Hook, Variation 9 on Symphony No. 7 by Beethoven, Prelude No. 2, How Beautiful Is Night.
– John Henry