David Amram Quartet
Pull My Daisy; Lover Man; Take the “A” Train; Saint Thomas; Summertime; Gracias, Amigos; Tennessee Waltz; Red River Valley; Blue Monk
David Amram: piano, vocals, congas, flutes, french horn, cowbell, pennywhistles, claves & percussion; Victor Venegas: bass; Akira Tana: drums; Vic Juris: guitar; Paquito de Rivera: alto sax, clarinet, bells and conga.
This CD of jazz standards was previously released on Premier Recording (PRCD 1046) and does not contain any new material from that release. David Amram and his quartet provide smooth and entertaining live performances of each of these pieces and each track is a lot of fun. Of particular note are the many pennywhistle smack-downs throughout the CD. I could hardly believe how wild and crazy the pennywhistle could be! When I saw the instrument in the litany of everything that Mr. Amram was going to play, I didn’t expect it to occupy as much air time as it does. I was happy to hear a lot of it.
The arrangements are very sensitive well crafted. The subdued Summertime is a depressing joy to hear and the skulking and skittering Take the “A” Train has some real charm to it (especially as Vic Juris crams as many music quotes as possible into his solo). In general, this is a very nice disc of jazz standards with solid performances and entertaining arrangements.