Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Charles Chen; Charles, Play!

There's one new name here and that's the leader and very swinging pianist on the date, Charles Chen. The remaining members of the quartet have honored the jazz art for a long time. Consider Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums. But the big pleasant surprise is tenor sax man Ralph Moore. I've wondered about Moore for a couple of decades. He seemed to have disappeared, so what a delight to once again hear his very personal, in-the-pocket tone working with the above named threesome! Pianist Chen shows his prowess both on piano and as a composer on five of the selections heard here. He is featured on the standard “These Foolish Things”, and it's delicate, sensible, and perfect. Among his originals, I was particularly impressed with Chen's “Golson”. It focuses upon a medium tempo delight with a very lyrical melody line---just the way tenor giant Benny Golson used to write them. Really, all the originals were standouts. Other familiar fare are “How About You”, “Be My Love” (remember Mario Lanza?), and Charlie Parker's “Passport”. All told, this is the real thing. Welcome back to Ralph Moore and a high five to Charles Chen and the Washingtons!

Cellar; 2024; appx. 48 min.

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