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New Piano Expressions Debut: Rarities 5

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, August 12, 1994
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 12, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ojc
  • ASIN: B000000Z9H
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #420,806 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Michael Brad Richman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 28, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you were on a jazz game show, and the question was name the pianist who recorded a trio album with Charles Mingus and Max Roach as his rhythm duo, you would most likely answer Duke Ellington ("Money Jungle"). However, if for some crazy reason you said John Dennis, the host would probably have to check with the panel of judges to discover you were also correct! To my knowledge, the only other album Dennis played on is "The Fabulous Thad Jones" so how he was able to get Mingus and Roach into RVG's studio in 1955 may seem like a small miracle. But after just one listen to "New Piano Expressions" it is abundantly clear that this pianist more than holds his own in that elite company. And as good as the five trio tracks are (plus three alternate takes), it is the four solo selections at the end of the disc which show Dennis' true genius -- an amazing ability to play with both hands a la Erroll Garner, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson or some classical master. So after listening to this disc, the next question our jazz host could pose is "Why did John Dennis not make it big?" and unfortunately that answer doesn't come so easily.
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