Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Craig Hartley "Books On Tape Vol. 2"

                                                    Books On Tape Vol. II - Standard Edition; Craig Hartley, piano
A wild and wicked left hand vamp gets this CD underway as Craig Hartley displays some virtuoso sizzle on "Caravan". That is followed by a slightly slower tempo than usual on Fats Waller's classic "Jitterbug Waltz". Hartley then impresses with some formidable classical chops, combining Bach's Prelude No. 2 in C minor with "Solar", a Miles Davis evergreen. From this exercise in virtuosity and sheer bravery we move on to a pretty tune with an ugly title, "Junk". For contrast, Duke's "Mood Indigo" is taken to a jaunty Errol Garner-ish tempo. "Imagine Peace Piece" is a creative pairing of the Beatles' tune "Imagine" with the Bill Evans opus, "Peace Piece". It's really gorgeous stuff, filled with richness and pleasure. It's clear that Craig Hartley has had extensive classical training, a major plus for listeners. Along with colleagues Carlo De Rosa on bass and Jeremy "Bean" Clemons on drums, Craig Hartley is already high on the ladder of creativity and sheer talent. I'd love to see how he continues to progress.

Self-produced; 2016; appx. 52 min.

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