Half Notes: Cedar Walton – The Bouncer (2011)

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There’s not a whole lot of jazz performers who first started out recording in the 50s and are still doing so today, but as I listen to Cedar Walton’s latest The Bouncer, I’m a lot more apt to think how vibrant he still sounds than how long the 77 year old legendary pianist and composer has been around. Like his last album Voices Deep Within (2009), The Bouncer is another upstanding small combo straight jazz date, but this time there’s more of Walton’s originals, both old and new, and master trombonist Steve Turre joins reed player and flautist Vincent Herring. To mix things up a bit, a handful of tunes (“Martha’s Prize,” “Willie’s Groove” and J.J. Johnson’s “Lament”) are in trio format with David Williams (bass) and Willie Jones III (drums). Consistently good, there’s no low points and even if no track stands out much above the rest, the tunes swing with precision and Walton’s piano is the mark of elegance and a tasteful, subdued style. His seventh release for HighNote Records, Cedar Walton’s music feels like a new record from the classic Blue Note era. It can only come from someone who was there.

The Bouncer went on sale July 19. ‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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