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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

CD Review: Don Trudell Plays the Piano.

Dan Trudell (pno); Joe Sanders (bs); Matt Wilson (dms).
(Review by Lance).
There was a time when we, in the UK, knew all of the great jazzmen in the USA. Over the years, other outstanding jazzers have emerged worldwide - Japan, Australia, South America, Europe, if the country has a name you can bet your shirt they have jazz musicians eager to be heard and often capable of competing with the best. We have loads in the UK and, in our own neck of the woods, north east England, we have more than a few who can hold their own at the highest level - you frequently read of their exploits in these pages. 
However, when push comes to shove, the Yanks invariably have the edge - not all of them - but quite a lot. You have only to hear them speak. The jazz is in their accent even if they can't blow a note, even if they don't even like jazz! But those that do and can play - can!
I know it's provoking comment but, jazz is the American language and, is the most qualified linguist able to speak Polish better than a Pole?
Sorry to digress, but what I'm trying to convey is that Dan Trudell is a fine example of an American - Michigan born - jazz pianist who is most certainly deserving of wider recognition further afield. Currently living in the Wisconsin resort town of Lake Geneva - probably the UK equivalent of Windermere - and working at the Grand Geneva, Trudell has gigs with Kurt Elling, Jon Faddis, Roy Hargrove, Clark Terry, Benny Golson, among others, on his CV. Sounds like he's got a good gig up there in Wisconsin so I doubt if we'll see him at The Globe Jazz Bar, Jazz Café or even Ronnie's but, on the strength of this disc we should. 
The music? It swings, but not in a prehistoric, nor in a pretentious way. Trudell's music on this disc comprises material by Silver, Duke, Stevie Wonder, Alice Keys, a couple of Gassers and a couple of originals by the man himself. McCoy For Now (dedicated to McCoy Tyner) and Jonesin (for Hank Jones).
Although better known across the pond as a B3 man this disc proves him to be one of the few organ/piano guys able to cross the great divide. Pianists tend to play too much on organ and organists don't do enough on piano!
Well that's my thoughts - let's hear yours!
Oh, and by the way, Sanders and Wilson are tremendous!
Lance.

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