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The Gordon Beck Trio: “Appleby Blues”

(Art of Life AL1025-2)

Discography | Digital Downloads | About the Music | Selected Quotations

The Gordon Beck Trio: "Appleby Blues"

Gordon Beck: piano
Jeremy Brown: acoustic bass
Tony Levin: drums

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With a Heart In My Song
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For P.J.
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The Old Country
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Appleby Blues
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Gone With the Wind
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California Here I Come
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Digital Downloads {top}

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About the Music {top}

Recorded live at the Appleby Jazz Festival in Cumbria, England on Sunday July 31, 2005, this 75 minute live recording features British Jazz piano legend Gordon Beck in a trio setting which includes Jeremy Brown on acoustic bass and Tony Levin on drums. The trio performs several Jazz standards including Miles Davis's composition "Solar", Nat Adderley's "The Old Country" in addition to the familiar standards "Gone with the Wind" and "California Here I Come". Also included are three of Gordon Beck's original compositions: "With a Heart In My Song" (which originally appeared on the recording of the same name with guitarist Allan Holdsworth in 1988), "For P.J.", Gordon's tribute to British pianist Pete Jacobson making its' recording debut and the title track, "Appleby Blues", written specifically for the Appleby Jazz Festival also making its' recording debut. All tracks have been digitally recorded, mixed and mastered using 24-bit digital technology.

Selected Quotations {top}

Gordon Beck has long been one of England's top Jazz pianists, but his exposure to the U.S. Jazz market was minimal until he took up with the Art of Life label, producing a series of outstanding CDs. This concert from the 2005 Appleby Jazz Festival is a prime example, with dynamic interaction between Beck and his rhythm section, bassist Jeremy Brown and drummer Tony Levin, starting with their explosive interpretation of Miles Davis' "Solar." Beck's lyrical treatment of the standard "Gone with the Wind" revives this old chestnut with flair, and his romp through "California, Here I Come" proves that there are also plenty of possibilities for this decades-old show tune in a post-bop setting. His country-flavored ballad "For P.J." is a memorial to pianist Pete Jacobsen, who died under tragic circumstances, while "Appleby Blues" is an inspired off-the-cuff riff tune that finds the trio completely in the pocket. The flawless engineering gives the listener a front row seat for this thoroughly enjoyable live set recorded in the great outdoors.
Ken Dryden - All Music Guide

"Appleby Blues", a well-recorded live set from Cumbria's annual festival, is a straightforward selection of standards and compelling originals. "With a Heart in My Song" is a nice remake of guess what? Gordon plays with a highly personalized sense of swing, stretching his improvisations out in long-winded (but never hoarse-throated) solos that display depth and intelligence; his solo over the title track, nearly seven minutes, is riff-driven without becoming repetitious. Seasoned drummer Tony Levin borrows (but never steals) the show, constantly interjecting ideas in soloistic fashion even as he holds down the time; his traded fours on "Solar", for example, sound more like overlapping dialogue than discreet soliloquies. Jeremy Brown, talented bassist and the "baby" of the group, plays like there's something musical he's bound to get off his chest, adding youthful enthusiasm that sparks Beck and Levin.
Tom Greenland - All About Jazz New York

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