has had success on previous sessions with organist Gary Versace
, but this time around the pianist chose to record the trio live at the Kitano in New York City. Because Versace
started as a pianist (and still plays the instrument occasionally), he provides a good sense of balance with the leader while keeping a fluid bassline going on the pedals, backed by drummer Anthony Pinciotti
's six originals are varied in texture. "Note Worthy" is an excellent opener, being a brisk bop cooker. "J. J." opens with a chant-like vamp, with a dark edge in a very deliberate setting, showcasing Versace
at length as LaVerne
frees himself from the vamp. "In a Turquoise Mood" is a bit unusual, beginning as a free-form piece with odd special effects on the organ and muted, vibrating piano strings, though once LaVerne
takes the spotlight, it settles into a lyrical ballad format. "Joyous Lake" has a soulful edge, mixing in gospel in a relaxed setting. Adding a familiar song or two might have helped draw those unfamiliar with Andy LaVerne
's work, but his longtime fans will be delighted with this remarkable live recording.