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Bebop Spoken There

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Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, June 21, 2013

CD Review: Chip Stephens Trio - Relevancy

Chip Stephens (pno); Dennis Carroll (bs); Joel Spencer (dms)
(Review by Lance).
An almost traditional hard bop trio, the block chords, the rippling right hand explorations, the assertive theme statements make for an enjoyable CD
Chip Stephens is a pianist out of Bill Evans by way of say Sonny Clark, Bud Powell, Peterson and early Jarrett.  He doesn't use the piano as a harp or pummel it into submission. The piano is the most wonderful instrument in the world and should be accorded the respect it deserves. Abuse of, say a Steinway, to me, is akin to defacing the Mona Lisa or watching the X-Factor. Do what you like to a keyboard but please don't mishandle a grand piano. 
Stephens displays great fluency on the fast numbers and a deep introspective eloquence on the ballads. Probing, searching and ultimately discovering the heart and soul of the composition. He's the leader, the boss the centre stage star but not without the contributions of bass and drums who provide the bricks and mortar to make the unit complete.
The material is a mix of standards. Like Someone In Love, A solo piano rendition of a rare Rodgers and Hart piece - This Funny World - Be My Love (Mario Lanza fans look away!) Bill Evans' 34 Skidoo, Carla Bley's Syndrome and 3 originals.
Although I've said it many times over the 5 years of Bebop Spoken Here, this is reminiscent of the Blue Note of yore, and, in my view, the accolades don't come any higher! May Capri Records give us more of the same.
Chip Stephens Trio - Relevancy was released June 17 on Capri 74120-2.
Lance.

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