Jodie Christian Trio: Reminiscing

There is a wonderful clarity to Reminiscing (Delmark DE-531; 59:22), from the Jodie Christian trio. Christian, a virtual institution in Chicago, has assembled a program of tunes that tie back to specific memories of his career and childhood. At times the program has an almost narrative flow: Christian’s nuanced solo “Chicago Delta Blues,” dedicated to his father, leads into “Love Walked In,” leading in turn to an appealingly intimate “Embraceable You” and a great arrangement of “You Are So Beautiful,” built around a stop-time device that gives it gut-level appeal. The CD opens with a madly careening take on “How Insensitive” that is anything but. Christian works here with bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Tony Walton; their support is impeccable. This is a very satisfying self-portrait from a pianist who refuses to be bounded by style.