Blues in America Tom Vincent Independent After graduating in jazz studies from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1989, Hobart pianist Tom Vincent moved to New York in 1992 to live and perform there for three years before returning to Australia.
This latest album, Vincent’s eighth and recorded in New York, features his trio with the important addition of US saxophonist Branford Marsalis on three of these five lengthy tracks, while double bass is shared between Leigh Barker and Matt Clohesy.
The title track is taken at a brisk tempo and features some impressive playing from Marsalis on soprano sax. He also plays tenor on this and several other tracks.
Some brilliant up-tempo piano comes from the leader, underscored by Alf Jackson’s drums. Vernon Duke’s ballad Autumn in New York is the slowest tempo piece here and it’s explored at length in the high treble and mid-range by Vincent, who also manages to inject bouncing new vitality into the overworked standard Sweet Georgia Brown.
Another timeworn ballad, Indiana, also receives extensive solo interpretations at medium tempo from Vincent’s inexhaustible piano, including numerous quotes from wellknown standards, ahead of Marsalis’s always inventive, swinging tenor sax. Donald Kahn’s graceful ballad A Beautiful Friendship also features Marsalis’s solo tenor work and several bright exchanges with the piano.
This album is a significant achievement by a pianist who set a high bar in musical standards long ago and who right now is at the top of his game.