As pianist, composer, bandleader, and perhaps especially as liner-note author, Joel Forrester is a first-rate entertainer and a delightfully deadpan droll man. Some of the tunes on Ever Wonder Why (Ride Symbol) are musical jokes, such as “Bebop Cowpoke,” with its cantering gait and whinnying horses, and “Bunny Boy” (“music for an unproduced cartoon”). More often, the wit derives from the stone-faced aplomb with which Forrester’s quartet, People Like Us, solves the trickeries in his tunes. (In “The Bubble,” for example, the time signature “changes, perversely, every few bars.”)
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