The young pianist certainly has hutzpah. It is there in his playing, which has a lot of good old-fashioned swing in it. It’s also there in the confidence he had asking not only his sometime teacher, a veteran saxophonist, to appear on some of the tracks on this album, but also Ahmad Jamal’s rhythm team to join him too.
So, we have James Cammack on the bass and Herlin Riley on the drums, plus the immensely wonderful Houston Person on four tracks.
If one of those four is a fairly “by rote” ballad from Alterman called The First Night Home, the others are the tastier Georgia On My Mind, I Guess I’ll Have To Dream The Rest and Kelly’s Blues. That last one is by Oscar Peterson, a pianist not particularly fashionable with musicians of Alterman’s age.
But that is his charm. He has older tastes within that young head and heart. And while he does quiet and delicate pretty well, he is best when he is romping and keeping both hands busy with those nice wide spanning chords.
Person apparently told Alterman: “Never lose the blues or you’ll sound like you’re practising.” There’s nothing that sounds like practising on this disc, I am pleased to report.
Categories: CD review