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Herb Young,
International Association of Jazz Record Collectors

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Reflections
The Abso!ute Sound
 

Pianist David Leonhardt has just been appointed Artist in Residence at Lafayette College and, based on what can be heard on his new CD, Lafayette is lucky to have him. From the opening "A Day in the Life of a Fool," it becomes evident that this is no ordinary trio album. There's an urgency, an intimacy that both invites and demands that one listen to the rest, which is two-thirds Leonhardt's own compositions. These, by turn, are breezy, jubilant, smoky, and sultry, a search for upbeat superlative descriptions being very much in order, "vital" being the clincher. As a performer, he belongs in the conversation when talking about Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, and Monty Alexander. As a leader, he's made inspired choices in selecting the other members of his trio; they often play as one ultra-talented, three-souled entity. Rudy Van Gelder's recording is of the "you are there" variety that, unlike some of his other work, contains no digital betrayals, helped by Leonhardt's decision to record in single takes for an undeniable urgency and spontaneity that cannot be praised too highly. It's an extraordinary effort that I urge you to experience post haste.

 
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