New York Standards Quartet

Power of 10

(Whirlwind)

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Power of 10 marks the New York Standards Quartet’s tenth anniversary of playing a repertoire that’s both very familiar and excitingly fresh. Saxophonist Tim Armacost, pianist David Berkman and drummer Gene Jackson are seasoned players on the New York scene and with their London-based American bassist, Michael Janisch, they investigate and reinvent jazz standards, sometimes with new approaches such as Armacost’s superb, slightly twisted, appealing soprano take on All of Me, sometimes with clever disguises such as Berkman’s reharmonisation of Secret Love, or Hidden Fondness as he calls it here. The playing is always keen, often brisk, and intelligently searching and all four players always have something interesting to say, be it on forthright group grooves such as Jackson’s smart arrangement of Elvin Jones’ Three Card Molly or on individual miniatures, of which Lush Effect, Berkman’s brief reinvention of Lush Life is a deliciously pithy example. The result is a consistently engrossing and invigorating set from four very accomplished musicians playing at their peak.

Rob Adams