New York Trio – Love You Madly (2003)

FrontCover1The vast Duke Ellington songbook is always ripe for exploration, and the New York Trio, featuring pianist Bill Charlap, bassist Jay Leonhart, and drummer Bill Stewart, is up to the task. The gorgeous ballad “The Star Crossed Lovers” is in good hands, as Charlap gently examines the facets of this gem, accompanied by Leonhart’s spacious basslines and Stewart’s whispering brushes.

The brisk run through “Love You Madly” is transformed into an extended workout instead of the brief versions typically played by its composer. Charlap’s bluesy gospel introduction to “I’m Just a Lucky So-and-So” will turn a few heads.

Even though there’s nothing new about tackling “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” at a racehorse tempo, this trio’s intricate workout is a bit more abstract than most recordings. Charlap’s jaunty treatment of “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart” suggests its composer’s stride piano roots. (vy by Ken Dryden)

Another sentimental journey …

New York Trio

Bill Charlap (piano)
Jay Leonhart (bass)
Bill Stewart (drums)

01. Star Crossed Lovers 4.30
02. Jump For Joy 4.46
03. In A Sentimental Mood 5.57
04. Love You Madly 8.21
05. Sophisticated Lady 4.58
06. I’m Just A Lucky So-And-So 6.48
07. Prelude To A Kiss 6.16
08. It Don’t Mean A Thing 3.55
09. C Jam Blues 4.36
10. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart 7.16
11. Warm Valley 5.39

All tunes written by Duke Ellington