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Tom Grant: Nice Work if You Can Get It

Tom Grant is best known as a popular contemporary jazz pianist, but Nice Work If You Can Get It (Nu-Wrinkle) is an acoustic trio outing on which the Oregon-based artist performs a collection of standards and some originals, many of which feature him on lead vocals. Grant’s sung on his recordings before, but this is the first time vocals have been so dominant, and he chose songs that suit his voice well. Grant and his group swing adeptly through brisk, lighthearted versions of “You Make Me Feel So Young” and the title track, and they put plenty of spring in the step of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “People Will Say We’re in Love.” Grant is at his best when he lets his piano do the singing, however, and he turns in particularly rich, elegant readings of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” and his composition “Celia,” the latter shaded by warm flugelhorn. Nice Work If You Can Get It is a gem, performed with proficiency, obvious enjoyment, and a whole lot of heart.

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