Mark Levine Trio: One Notch Up

Although little heard from these days, the San Francisco modern mainstream scene is apparently doing well, if the trio of pianist Mark Levine, bassist John Williams and drummer Eddie Marshall is a fair example. For this, his fourth leader album, Levine salutes some of his favorite pianists; McCoy Tyner (“I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” and “You Know I Care”), Cedar Walton (“Up Jumped Spring” and “Pensativa”), Red Garland (“If There Is Someone Lovelier Than You”), Monk (“Ask Me Now”), Ellington (“Low Key Lightly,” from Anatomy of a Murder), and Mulgrew Miller (“One Notch Up”). Also heard are Levine’s own “Linda Chicana” and the Herbie Hancock-inspired “After You.” Note, however, that this is no exercise in textual replication, for Levine retains his own touch and personality throughout.