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Stan Tracey Duo/Trio - Sound Check - 2cd set

 5 Stars

This might well be Stan Tracey's best collection in years, which considering he's now negotiated 84 of them is a testament to the British piano master's restlessly sparky imagination and even sparkier energies.

Half of this double album features drummer Clark Tracey and bassist Andrew Cleyndert, on a very familiar trio menu of originals and assorted Ellington and Monk classics but though it's the usual expert solos-in-turn swing-to-bop exercise, accounts of Lil Ol' Pottsville, Chelsea Bridge or Blue Monk seem even more focused than usual, and the cohesiveness, dynamics and fluency of the leader's improvisations make them memorable even by his standards.

But it's the impromptu duo encounter featuring simply the two Traceys on piano and drums a warmup exercise they've often privately explored but never recorded that really marks this venture out.

Stabby Ellingtonian piano chords ring out over snickety snare-drum patterns, rumbly tom-tom figures underpin playful peckings at notes, liquid ballad intros become chord-sweeping swaggers, and then return to meditation.

It's a wonderful improvised dialogue, and reveals percussion resources not all of Clark Tracey's observers might have appreciated he has.

John Fordham - Guardian UK



This 2-CD set by the legendary British jazz pianist Stan Tracey features brand new recordings by Tracey and his regular rhythm section - Clark Tracey on drums and Andrew Cleyndert on bass.

The first CD of features Tracey with just his son Clark Tracey, which is the first time they have recorded in a duet format. The duo has improvised a set of spontaneous originals with quirky and humorous titles such as "Stick Chops", "Statin Doll" and "Midnight Around".

The second CD features the trio which performs a set of classic jazz standards that showcase Stan's unique style of playing, influenced by Ellington and Monk but now completely his own. Having played together for over 15 years the three musicians demonstrate an incredible mutual empathy while each still retaining their strong, virtuosic individuality.

Personnel: Stan Tracey (piano), Clark Tracey (drums), Andrew Cleyndert (double bass on CD2)

Stan Tracey Duo/Trio - Sound Check - 2cd set 


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