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Keystone Quartet: A Love Story

A Love Story, which was originally produced for Japanese release, teams saxophonist Eric Alexander, bassist George Mraz, pianist Cyrus Chestnut and drummer Lewis Nash as The Keystone Quartet. With these fine players onboard, it’s expected that musicality prevails.

The disc’s high-flying opener, “The Lamp Is Low,” doesn’t disappoint with Alexander’s clear tones riding above Chestnut’s percussive piano as Mraz and Nash urge him on. While Alexander is the featured player here, everyone brings his individual talents to the session. On several of the numbers, Alexander bows out allowing Chestnut to lead the trio on songs like “Moonlight Becomes You” and the pianist’s original “Tateresque.”

The title, A Love Story, indicates romance is in the air. While there are no serious flaws in this session, the love-story concept sometimes stifles the promised creativity of “The Lamp Is Low.” Romance, however, is bolstered when freedom and excitement reign, an aspect lacking in “Everything Must Change.” Yet there is no denying the pure romance and beauty of Johnny Mercer’s “Laura” under Chestnut’s magical spell. The pianist waves the wand of fluid notes of passion that are the heart of A Love Story.

Originally Published