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May 2004

Tim Lyddon
Shades of People
Essence

Good to know there's a free spirit out there named Tim Lyddon. He's armed with a slightly irreverent sense of musical humor that is sprinkled throughout Shades of People (Essence). It surfaces without warning, but you can rely on its being an integral part of each intro he plays. It's safe to say Lyddon never met a motif he couldn't weave into the fabric of an intro. He does it on all six standards here and each is a delight. They can be classics as disparate as "Somewhere" or "Wave," but they get the same "hidden Lyddon" treatment: suggestions, hints, Proustian remembrances of melodies past.

If Lyddon fits Shelly Manne's definition of a jazz player ("a musician who can't play the same thing once"), no doubt his intros vary from set to set at live gigs. Drummer Scott Latzky and bassist Tom Hubbard reinforce Lyddon's antics on "After You've Gone" and on "I Remember You" the pianist toys with time and briefly lapses into solo stride. His original works show his Jarrett leanings-both as a player and in song titles ("Meditation #1," "Impromptu and Fantasy").

Originally published in May 2004
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