Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blue electricity in my stomach


'I was recently running a jazz workshop in a primary school in London. I asked the children how jazz music made them feel and one of them said, 'it feels like I've got blue electricity in my tummy'.
Jazz pianist and composer Pete Letanka writes in the sleeve notes of his first CD Afrostocracy. Pete Letanka is one hell of a jazz pianist, and Afrostocracy has spent a fair amount of time in my CD player since it arrived in the post a few days ago. Two Letanka compositions are coupled with ten standards in straight but tight treatments. Letanka's hero is Oscar Peterson and it shows, but Bill Evans fans will find a lot to savour here as well. He may work at Aldeburgh and Glyndebourne, but Pete Letanka can also make Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson swing. The final cut of the Letanka Trio's take on Brian Wilson's God Only Knows is the standout. Read about Pete Letanka at Aldeburgh here. And while we are on the subject of blue electricity and great tunes let's give a heads up to the Bill Charlap Trio's treatment of the songs of Leonard Bernstein on Blue Note, Somewhere.


Then, of course, there is André Previn.
I bought Afrostaocracy online from an amazon.co.uk reseller. The Bill Charlap Trio CD was purchased when it was released in 2004, I can't remember who from. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

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