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Beegie Adair: Sentimental Journey

Beegie Adair

Sentimental Journey is a trio date with Beegie Adair’s longtime sidemen, bassist Roger Spencer and drummer Chris Brown. Quiet Romance is a solo-piano session. Like all of Adair’s recent releases, they are concept albums. Their respective concepts are “classic gems of the World War II era…saluting the Greatest Generation” and “romantic standards.”

Adair’s versions of the 24 vintage songs on these two recordings are mostly devoid of the qualities required to hold the attention of a jazz audience. Her interpretations (and that is a generous term) are concise, symmetrical, generic and blandly impersonal. The problem is not that she stays so close to the melodies but that she fails to shed new light on them. The problem is not that she doesn’t swing-she does. She makes “String of Pearls” really move. But the swing of Adair (and Spencer and Brown) is settled and predictable. “When I Fall in Love” and “My Foolish Heart” evoke unavoidable comparisons to Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans-and make Adair sound like high-quality Muzak.

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