Monday, November 17, 2008

James Moody and Hank Jones - Our Delight (IPO Records, 2008)

I read an enthusiastic review review of this album in the New York Times and it sounded like a winner. Legendary saxophonist and flutist James Moody and the ageless piano master Hank Jones team up with Todd Coolman on bass (what a great name for a jazz musician!) and Adam Nussbaum on drums. This is a pleasant and charming album of veteran jazz musicians playing some well known bebop and pop standards simply for the joy of making music. There is nothing rushed here, Moody and company take the tunes at relaxed mid tempo or ballad paces that bathe the listener in waves of sound and allows you to luxuriate in the deep texture of the music. Particularly impressive are the ballads, where the principals draw on a lifetime of music to create mini masterpieces of taste and restraint. Moody's tenor is verdant and fresh on the longtime favorite of saxophonists, "Body and Soul" and his flute playing is as nimble as ever on "Darben the Red Fox." He does not sing on this recording, but does accompany vocalist and frequent Jones collaborator Roberta Gambarini on the infectiously boppish "Moody's Groove." Jones himself is a wonder of understated solidity, deftly backing Moody with supportive accompniment, and soloing with grace and distinction. This a joyful and informal album that sounds like a group of old friends getting together to jam on their favorite songs. The feeling is infectious and this album is warmly recommended.
Our Delight -

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