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The Drummonds: When You Wish Upon A Star

Anyone who’s ever played a piano will love the music created by this all-star trio. The husband-and-wife team of drummer Billy Drummond and pianist Renee Rosnes Drummond know each other’s styles and tendencies so well he often anticipates her movements a beat or so before she makes a chord change or a turnaround. Bassist Ray Drummond’s an equally established pro: the combination of his huge tone, fluid lines and effortless assistance is the third ingredient in what’s a technically brilliant CD. The only thing that’s missing is some experimentation or imagination in the content area. Certainly Rosnes possesses the chops to put her own mark on such oft-performed standards as “Over the Rainbow,” “Alone Together,” “Lullaby of Birdland” and “Nature Boy.” She’s such a fine player that even when saddled with less imposing material, like “Danny Boy” or “Sound of Silence,” her delivery and solos render them enjoyable, if unmemorable.

There’s little beyond the menu that bears criticizing. All three Drummonds are instrumental masters, especially Rosnes, a very underrated pianist. A testament to their greatness: Hearing “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” or “When You Wish Upon a Star” for the sixth or seventh time isn’t a chore. But it’s intriguing to speculate what might result from this great trio collaborating on a program of their own tunes, or doing an album dedicated to a single composer or improviser. That CD would certainly be welcome, because they’ve already proven that on this session they’re extremely capable of handling the traditional jazz repertoire.

Originally Published