I picked up this CD on the same day I bought the Gerry Wiggins CD entitled Relax and Enjoy It! The two piano trios, made within a year of each other, are an interesting contrast. Previn has, by far, the more florid and varied and impressive technique, but the little-known Wiggins (whose career was spent largely as an accompanist to singers) cleans Previn's plate in terms of swing and real jazz feeling. I am a big fan of Previn's My Fair Lady set with Shelly Manne, which really deconstructed the Broadway musical's familiar tunes in marvellous ways, but the less familiar score to Pal Joey left me just focusing on the jazz itself. It's immediately apparent why Manne no longer gets top billing. He's dropped way back in prominence, even sitting out a couple of tunes. Red Mitchell, so great with Hampton Hawes, is also rather unimpressive here. Previn himself turns in some lovely pianistics but it all seems rather pallid somehow. Check out my review of the Wiggins CD to figure out why.
Many may forget Andre Previn's jazz roots but in the 50's he recorded quite a bit of good trio jazz, much of the material drawn from Broadway shows. This is one of them and my favorite in the series. With the flawless brush work of drummer Shelly Manne and the driving bass from Red Mitchell, Previn lays down exquisite interpretations of tunes like Bewitched and I Could Write a Book. Piano jazz at its best and highly recommended.