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Harry Skoler: A Work of Heart

Harry Skoler is a clarinetist who employs this difficult instrument with a gentle and loving touch. The Berklee professor evokes little of Benny Goodman, except for comparable agility and skill. Skoler’s sound is elegantly supple and played mostly in a lush lower-register. The 10 tracks are performed in different musical combinations, adding vibraphonist Rich Margolis on two. But the main collaboration is Skoler and pianist-arranger-producer Donn Trenner, whose lineage ranges from Charlie Parker and Chet Baker to Lena Horne and Mel Torme. Their interplay is stunningly psychic, and their duets on “Don’t Ever Go Away” and “Soliloquy” are absolutely exquisite.

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