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Take It From The Top

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Critics' Reviews

amg review
Bob James, who for many years has gained fame and fortune for his commercial pop/jazz crossover sets, on this set returns to his roots in straight-ahead jazz. James is showcased in a trio with bassist James Genus and drummer Billy Kilson, paying tribute to some of his favorite pianists. James' interpretations of nine standards are not necessarily in the style of the pianists, but there are moments when he consciously quotes one of their phrases, including putting a phrase from "Mona Lisa" in "Straighten Up and Fly Right" for Nat King Cole. Along the way he also pays homage to Red Garland, Glenn Gould (the classical pianist liked "Downtown"), Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Ahmad Jamal, Erroll Garner (his version of "Caravan"), Mal Waldron, and John Lewis. It is to Bob James' credit that he still sounds so natural playing this bop-oriented music; this is one of the most rewarding playing dates of his recording career. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi