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Review by Scott Yanow: Philip Catherine - plays Cole Porter

23-07-2013 Review by Scott Yanow: Philip Catherine - plays Cole Porter

Guitarist Philip Catherine and his quartet on Plays Cole Porter (CR 70166) plays relaxed melodic variations on 11 Porter classics.
    
In his very productive career, guitarist Philip Catherine has played a wide variety of music, from Django Reinhardt-inspired swing to fusion, from postbop jazz to virtuoso acoustic guitar tours with John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell. He always manages to sound like himself, no matter what the setting, and ranks at the top (along with Toots Thielemans) among jazz musicians who originated from Belgium.
          
Plays Cole Porter is a change of pace for Catherine. Not only does he perform 11 songs by Porter in a quartet with pianist Karel Boehlee, bassist Philippe Aerts and drummer Martijn Vink, but he plays each of the tunes at a relaxed pace. Only “Dream Dancing” and “It’s De Lovely” approach a medium tempo. Catherine also resists playing many double time runs, instead letting each note sing while taking his time. He states the melodies quite clearly and then creates melodic variations, none of which Porter would have minded.
           
In addition to Catherine’s lead and melodic improvisations, pianist Boehlee gets to solo on most songs, with Aerts and Vink playing lightly swinging and stimulating lines and rhythms behind the main voices.

The quartet, with Philip Catherine in the lead, succeeds in doing justice to Cole Porter’s classic melodies.
 
Scott Yanow
 

 

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