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Dan Cray: No One

Young and very accomplished, pianist Dan Cray may not be breaking any new ground with No One (BluJazz). But what he does, he does with immense style and flair, and in bassist Clark Sommers and drummer Greg Wyser-Pratte he’s found sympathetic band mates who share his traditional enthusiasms. Blessed with a dazzling touch that enlivens all his work and a taste for pop and jazz standards, Cray favors imaginative reworkings of such basic fare as “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” “Avalon,” “Woody ‘n’ You” and “In Walked Bud.” But he also senses when a good thing should be left alone; his deeply felt ballad reading of “For All We Know” honors a great song by way of a no fuss approach.

And although Cray doesn’t contribute any originals, he’s astute enough to recognize, and blessedly unthreatened by, the compositional talents of Clark and Wyser-Pratte, both of whom offer attractive tunes. Cray and his trio, an authentic ensemble, are worth monitoring.

Originally Published