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John Hart: Standards-Green and Blue

John Hart’s third CD for the Hep label, Standards-Green and Blue, once again features his working trio with bassist Bill Moring and drummer Tim Horner. But vibraphone master Joe Locke turns up on five cuts, enlivening all he touches. Hart’s focus here is standards, and the approach is refreshing: loping hard-bop on “Lazy Afternoon,” modern modal harmony on the timely “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans,” a clever reharmonization of “All or Nothing at All” and a brief waltz treatment of “My Shining Hour,” without solos, that nods in the direction of Miles’ “Someday My Prince Will Come.”

Hart’s trebly tone reflects his organ-jazz background, but he’s sought after for his versatility-witness his poetic solo adaptation of “The Night We Called It a Day,” his faithful rendering of Joni Mitchell’s “Help Me” and the edgy distortion on his midtempo 5/4 arrangement of “Alone Together.” Locke’s stirring appearances include the set’s two originals, “The E Tune” and “Green Acres” (the latter a blues in disguise). But it is the trio’s well-oiled rapport, as heard on the closing “Well You Needn’t,” that steers the session.

Originally Published