May 25, 2024

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CD review: Larry Willis – I Fall in Love Too Easily (The Final Session at Rudy Van Gelder’s) 2020: Video, CD cover

It may be somewhat ironic, yet ultimately fitting that this, the final recording by Larry Willis, brought the veteran pianist/composer right back to the Rudy Van Gelder Studio where he first began his impressive career as recording artist that spanned over a period of six decades.

The Harlem, New York born Willis first entered the hallowed halls of Rudy Van Gelder’s legendary Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey studio as a twenty-two year old graduate of the Manhattan School of Music on January 29, 1965 to record with Jackie McLean for Blue Note Records. Willis’s expansive resume includes entries with the likes of Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Stan Getz, Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band, Clifford Jordan, Carmen McRae, David “Fathead” Newman, Woody Shaw, and many more. He appeared on hundreds of albums as a sideman and dozens more as a leader of his own impressive bands.

The music played here with long-time friends Victor Lewis and Joe Ford, and his relatively new colleague Jeremy Pelt shows Larry Willis displaying the intense creativity and impeccable taste which made him one of the most respected keyboard artists in jazz.

1. Today’s Nights (5:48)
2. Heavy Blue (3:41)
3. Anna (6:09)
4. Habiba (6:21)
5. The Meaning of the Blues (8:34)
6. Let’s Play (8:11)
7. Climax (5:54)
8. I Fall in Love Too Easily (5:55)

Larry Willis (piano)
Jeremy Pelt (trumpet)
Joe Ford (alto saxophone)
Blake Meister (bass)
Victor Lewis (drums)

I Fall in Love Too Easily (The Final Session at Rudy Van Gelder's ...

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