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Geoffrey Keezer: Sublime: Honoring the Music of Hank Jones

Sublime (Telarc) features the art of the duet, as conceived by Geoffrey Keezer, with a little help from his pianist friends-Kenny Barron, Chick Corea, Benny Green and Mulgrew Miller–all dedicated to, in Keezer’s own words, “our esteemed elder and musical grandfather, Hank Jones.” It’s a no-lose format: each guest partners with Keezer twice, and he also has two solo features. All tunes, with one exception, were written by Jones, and bless Telarc for its “audio alert”: Keezer is on the left channel; each guest is on the right. What a thoughtful way to determine who has the lead and who’s comping. Each track is a jewel. Facets that sparkle particularly bright include the dialog with Barron on “Passing Time”; the lilting jazz waltz “Lullaby,” featuring Miller; Green’s playful approach to “Hank’s Blues”; and Corea’s startling contribution on “Intimidation.” Keezer’s solo tracks, “Angel Face” and “Sublime,” are so voluminous, one might think there’s a guest on the other keyboard. In essence there is, Hank Jones, and he’s the real winner here in his underappreciated role as composer.

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