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March 2009

Dena Derose
Live at Jazz Standard, Volume Two
MaxJazz

A year or so ago, those without easy access to prime Manhattan nightspots were provided the privilege of spending an hour with one of the tightest trios in jazz with Live at Jazz Standard, Volume One. Now, vocalist/pianist Dena DeRose, drummer Matt Wilson and bassist Martin Wind are back to complete the evening, with eight tracks that comprised the second set from those same March ’07 club dates.

Again, the trio favors a standards-heavy playlist. Easing in gently with Ray Evans and Jay Livingston’s misty, mysterious “The Ruby and the Pearl,” they gradually accelerate with a Wilson-driven “When Lights Are Low” and hit full speed with a rollicking “Detour Ahead” that allows all three to weave in and out of the passing lane.

DeRose and company nod to Dave Brubeck with a cleverly surprising 3/4 ride through “In Your Own Sweet Way,” celebrate Carmen McRae with a breeze-soft “I Can’t Escape From You” underscored by brilliantly understated pathos and, inspired by a Billie Holiday recording, share musical hugs on a bouncily ebullient “Laughing at Life.” Through it all, the sublime threesome, whose eight years of shared inspiration is constantly evident, demonstrates that there’s never anything standard about their standards.

Originally published in March 2009
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