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World Class Brilliant

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Audio CD, February 8, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Final recording from Duke Ellington protégé and Marilyn Monroe s teacher/
friend, the great Hal Schaefer!
In October 2009, Schaefer was nominated for the nation s most prestigious jazz
award, the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship. His
nomination in the pianist category was submitted by singing great Michael
Feinstein, with supporting letters from Hollywood legend Jane Russell and
renowned jazz educator Herb Wong. Feinstein said, in his letter to the NEA
(2009), Mr. Schaefer now is 84 years old and still performing faster and better
than most young jazz piano phenoms.
Schaefer s eclectic career as jazz pianist, composer, and arranger varies from
playing with big bands led by Benny Carter, Harry James, Boyd Raeburn,
and Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey to writing movie scores for 20th Century Fox
and dance arrangements for Broadway shows such as A Funny Thing Happened
On The Way To The Forum and Foxy.

Review

A romantic with a rhythmic soul. --New York Times

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 8, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SUMMIT RECORDS
  • ASIN: B004GCQ2YQ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #537,544 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David in Delray on March 6, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
Some things just get better with age - fine wine, great cheese; and some things retain their brilliance over time, like brilliantly cut flawless diamonds. Case in point: 85 year old jazz piano genius Hal Schaefer. His latest solo jazz piano album is called Brilliant! It would deserve that accolade if done by a pianist half Hal's age, but considering that this "protégé'" of the legendary Duke Ellington is still going strong when most people have been retired for a couple of decades, the album really deserves its title. Diamonds don't age, they just retain their brilliance. So it is with Hal.

As usual with Hal's albums, the musical selections are mostly standards from the Great American Songbook or Broadway: Cole Porter, Frederick Lowe, Richard Rogers - the usual suspects as Claude Rains' Captain Renault would say. But in Hal's unique styling, these tunes are heard in fresh, new ways. Introductions give way to recognition of old favorites turned out very stylishly. Above all, you can hear Hal having fun with this music. Listen to a track such as `What is This Thing Called Love' which uses Cole Porter's perhaps overly familiar tune as simply a framework for some brilliant improvisation by a master jazz sylist.

The music ranges from tour de force performances of `Pennies from Heaven', `Too Marvelous for Words' and `Have you Met Miss Jones' to more introspective views of `I Can't Get Started with You,' `You are Too Beautiful' and `I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face.' My personal favorite from this album is `Almost Like Being in Love,' which has never been done better by anyone, anywhere, any time. Like a walk down Fifth Avenue on a sunny springtime Sunday morning, it just makes you feel very good.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Some things just get better with age - fine wine, great cheese; and some things retain their brilliance over time, like brilliantly cut flawless diamonds. Case in point: 85 year old jazz piano genius Hal Schaefer. His latest solo jazz piano album is called Brilliant! It would deserve that accolade if done by a pianist half Hal's age, but considering that this "protégé'" of the legendary Duke Ellington is still going strong when most people have been retired for a couple of decades, the album really deserves its title. Diamonds don't age, they just retain their brilliance. So it is with Hal.

As usual with Hal's albums, the musical selections are mostly standards from the Great American Songbook or Broadway: Cole Porter, Frederick Lowe, Richard Rogers - the usual suspects as Claude Rains' Captain Renault would say. But in Hal's unique styling, these tunes are heard in fresh, new ways. Introductions give way to recognition of old favorites turned out very stylishly. Above all, you can hear Hal having fun with this music. Listen to a track such as `What is This Thing Called Love' which uses Cole Porter's perhaps overly familiar tune as simply a framework for some brilliant improvisation by a master jazz sylist.

The music ranges from tour de force performances of `Pennies from Heaven', `Too Marvelous for Words' and `Have you Met Miss Jones' to more introspective views of `I Can't Get Started with You,' `You are Too Beautiful' and `I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face.' My personal favorite from this album is `Almost Like Being in Love,' which has never been done better by anyone, anywhere, any time. Like a walk down Fifth Avenue on a sunny springtime Sunday morning, it just makes you feel very good.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

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