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Craig Hartley: Books on Tape, Vol. 1

Like many a debut album, Craig Hartley’s Books on Tape, Vol. 1 is designed to flaunt the artist’s considerable technique and stylistic breadth. But unlike even many seasoned veterans, the pianist and his trio (Carlo De Rosa, bass; Henry Cole, drums) get away with the strutting because it never feels like their main purpose: Diversity, range and chops are embedded into their collective personality but so are touch, empathy and inspiration.

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