Murley, Bickert & Wallace Cornerstone Rating: ***½
There's a fairly conventional approach to jazz with this Toronto trio. While several decades separate senior guitarist Ed Bickert and tenor saxophonist Mike Murley, you wouldn't guess it here, as like minds explore their lyric sides on a collection of standards and two idiomatic originals. Murley adapts to the setting with an airy, Getz-like tone and sibilant runs. His lines are mated perfectly with Bickert's mellow, luminous guitar sound, the two instruments joining in the air above Steve Wallace's secure bass. Bickert's harmonic imagination is at its best here, and his rhythm playing keeps things moving no matter the tempo. Every Time We Say Goodbye was once a vehicle for a titanic John Coltrane cadenza; Murley adds a cadenza to the version here as well, making it a gentler and shorter occasion of his own.
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