Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

JAZZ REVIEW : Roy Gerson Delights With Old Standards

July 28, 1993|LEONARD FEATHER

Many pianists of the present generation are convinced that nothing could be finer than to sound like McCoy Tyner. But not that fascinating maverick Roy Gerson, in from New York on Monday for a one-night-stand at Catalina Bar & Grill.

Playing for an audience that barely outnumbered the musicians, Gerson left no doubt about his values from the first 12 bars: He began simply by playing several choruses of the blues, segueing into "It's a Wonderful World."

Although he sounds like none of them, Gerson grew up listening to the recordings of Teddy Wilson, Fats Waller and other giants of that era. He approaches the keyboard armed with a bunch of tunes that date, for the most part, back to World War II, or even World War I ("Poor Butterfly," with its timeless harmonic lines, was published in 1916).

With substantial help from John Leitham on bass and Ed Shaughnessy on drums, Gerson swung consistently, using occasional right-hand octave lines, emphatic tremolos and occasional touches of stride. It was a joy to hear such forgotten songs as "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone" and "I Got a Right to Sing the Blues."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|