Larry Fuller swings like a beast!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
With some writers from some main stream media outlets are crucifying the improvisational music we know as jazz, enter Larry Fuller. The self titled released and Larry's second as a leader embraces the spirit of Ray Brown and the groove is relentless. An impressive mix of favorites and some more eclectic deep catalog gems should have Fuller turning heads in short order. Ten trio works and two impressive solo pieces have Fuller drawing from his resume playing with Ray Brown and the more contemporary style of John Pizzarelli.
While seriously doubting an improvisational reharm of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" would work, Fuller takes the tune to the next level sidestepping the potential lounge lizard cover one would expect. The more intimate approach to "Reflections in D / Prelude to a Kiss" is nothing short of magnificent. The ability to change dynamic on the fly yet keep a smoldering vibrant spirit is a rare gift. The solo exploratory on "C Jam Blues" is steeped in a vibrant passion that some players can only hope to reach one day. This is far more than a pianist and two afterthoughts, this is a collective that can communicate with a harmonic synergy that is nothing short of lighting in a bottle. Hassan Shakur on bass and Greg Hutchinson are nothing short of remarkable or as they say, "they are killing it!"
Larry Fuller is a hell of a two handed player. There is not a great deal to say, this is a piano players dream. Larry Fuller is a rising star and follows in the grand tradition of Oscar Peterson...This is swing!
Tracks: At Long Last Love; Parking Lot Blues; Daahoud; Both Sides Now; Django; Hymn To Freedom; Reflections In D / Prelude To A Kiss; C Jam Blues; Old Folks; Old Devil Moon; Close Enough For Love; Celia.
Personnel: Larry Fuller: Piano; Hassan Shakur: Bass; Greg Hutchinson: Drums.