CD Angel Eyes [Stanley Cowell] (CD 873902),
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Angel Eyes [Stanley Cowell]

  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): SCCD 31339

  • Credits
    Producer
    Engineer

    An hour-long solo piano set recorded in April 1993 at SteepleChase Records' Danish studio, Stanley Cowell's Angel Eyes shows off the educator and sideman's impeccable melodic sense in its purest setting. Although there's a cerebral quality to Cowell's playing, akin to cool piano pioneers like Lennie Tristano, Bill Evans, and Dave Brubeck (who performed one of the best-known versions of this set's title track), Cowell never loses sight of the song's melodic line, even when his playing veers off into abstract variations. The program is roughly divided between Cowell originals and jazz standards, with a completely restructured take on John Lennon's "Imagine" the odd tune out. Heavy on the ballads, Angel Eyes does include a swinging take on Thelonious Monk's "Eronel" as a change-up. The four Cowell originals are uniformly fine, with the soulful "Akua" the particular standout. Neither cabaret snooze nor avant-garde experiments, these nine piano solos are sublime, low-key mainstream jazz. ~ Stewart Mason

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