Wednesday, April 11, 2018

"Simple Pleasure" Tardo Hammer-piano

  • Now and then a recording deserving of a review escapes my attention. This superb 2013 trio session is led by Tardo Hammer and includes Lee Hudson on bass and Jimmy Wormworth on drums. I review it here because, if you're lucky enough to find it, it's worth the search. Hammer is guided by luminaries such as Bud Powell and Barry Harris. He is an absolutely illuminating bebop pianist, entirely devoted to his chosen muse. One listen to his lean lines and savory swing, and you'll get it. Tardo Hammer is a master of his craft. On this eye opening album the trio tackles some rarely heard material by such jazz heroes as Kenny Dorham, Ahmad Jamal, Cedar Walton, Sonny Clark and Horace Silver, among others. The one Songbook standard is Jerome Kern's beauty, "The Folks Who Live On The Hill". This session, to my way of thinking, exemplifies a certain standard for piano trio albums. The recipe is simple: great tunes that mean something from a jazz perspective. Honest dedication and communication among the players, all the while providing pleasure and chops galore to the listener. Tardo Hammer has it all in tact here---and there's more good news. His trio, with Hudson on bass and Steve Williams on drums, will be here in Portland at Classic Pianos, Tuesday, May 8 at 7 PM. I can hardly wait! Cellar Live; 2013; appx. 62 min.

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