Ted Rosenthal Trio: Out of This World (2011)
Covering classic tunes by some of the Songbook's best-known composers with a high sheen and Rosenthal's distinctive style and refined touch, the trio opens with the title tune, written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer. The trio takes the tune on a rolling and fluid 9/8 groove that seems to float on the clouds, buoyed by bassist Noriko Ueda's succinct bounce and drummer Quincy Davis' odd-meter surprises.
It wouldn't be a standards set without some Cole Porter. Rosenthal and the trio explore the beauty of the composer's "So in Love," beginning with a wistful elegance that slips from Latin groove to up-tempo swing.
And if a standards set must have some Cole Porter, George Gershwin certainly can't be left out. There are three of Gershwin's works: "Prelude #2," taken into the deep blues; another odd-meter tryst with "Embraceable You;" and "How Long Has This Been Going On?," which gets the lightest of Rosenthal's touchwistful and pretty, full of inventive eddies.
"Lotus Blossom," from the pen of Billy Strayhorn, is delicately lovely, and "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," which was covered so perfectly by vocalist Frank Sinatra on his 1955 Capitol Records album, In the Wee Small Hours, is the perfect closer here, a reverent treatment of the timeless ballad full of longing and, in the hands of Rosenthal and his trio, a glimmer, perhaps, of hope.
Track Listing: Out of this World; So In Love; Have You Met Miss Jones; Prelude #2; Embraceable You; People Will Say We're in Love; Lotus Blossom; How Long Has This Been going On?; Cry Me a River; In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.
Personnel: Ted Rosenthal: piano; Noriko Ueda: bass; Quincy Davis: drums.
Record Label: Playscape Recordings
Style: Modern Jazz