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Sir Roland Hanna: Everything I Love

Hanna’s full-bodied pianism is intimately captured in two CDs he recorded for a promising new label in the year before his death in November 2002.

His repertoire in the solo album Everything I Love consists mostly of standards and reflects a love of minor keys that encourage his blues leanings. To stimulating effect, in four tracks he indulges himself in a delicious succession of minor pieces: his blues “Bags,” “Lullaby of the Leaves,” “I Hear a Rhapsody” and “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To.” His Rachmaninoffian introduction to “I Hear a Rhapsody” is typical of Hanna’s ability to integrate classical technique without lapsing into pianistic display. His “Send in the Clowns” is reflective, with no trace of the mawkishness that has nearly done the song to death. Hanna laces rollicking bass chords into another Stephen Sondheim tune, “Comedy Tonight,” rarely tackled by jazz artists. “Everything I Love” builds into an evocation of Erroll Garner. Through this collection of 13 songs, Hanna entertains and enlightens with inspiration and an eclecticism that never interferes with his ability to get to the heart of the music.

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