It’s fairly common practice among jazz musicians to tackle the Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and George Gershwin songbooks, but on Pure Imagination, jazz pianist Eric Reed has reached beyond the typical jazz standards to reformulate a number of classic Broadway tunes, such as “42nd Street,” Leonard Bernstein’s “Maria” and Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns,” in addition to classic Gershwin numbers like “I Got Rhythm” and “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” Reed’s youthful trio includes bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, who play with a level of confidence and maturity that belies their age. The sparse instrumentation highlights the strength of the tunes and gives ample space for the bass to improvise lines around Reed’s lush playing.
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