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Clark Ingram: When You Came

There’s a mystery at the heart of this double-disc set, one not easily unraveled. According to the wildly jumbled liner notes, Ingram recorded these 18 tracks in 2006 with a trio comprised of pianist Joan Stiles, bassist Richie Goods and drummer Brian Grice, augmented by brass and strings. The notes also include a lengthy bio for pianist Lou Rainone, though he’s not listed among the players. And, though no vibraphonist is credited, there’s the distinct presence of vibes throughout the second disc. The logical explanation is that disc two is actually a reissue of Ingram’s 1994 release Taking a Late Train, which did feature Rainone.

Mystery apparently solved, what of the music? Ingram’s Erskine-esque baritone, though considerably faded (particularly on the newer tracks), is still appreciably robust. The orchestrations are decent, and his mellow readings of everything from “My Funny Valentine” to “One Note Samba” are solid, if safe. His parody of “Pennies From Heaven,” reshaped into a winking tale of questionable paternity, is unquestionably funny (in a good way). Equally funny (in a bad way) is “Here’s to Sassy,” an homage to Sarah Vaughan that’s as awkward as it is sappy.

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