André Previn

Alone | Emarcy
By JON GARELICK  |  July 10, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
Although he’s been known for decades as a classical composer and conductor, André Previn has been an acclaimed professional jazz musician since he was a teenager. (Two of his 10 career Grammy awards are for jazz performances.) This new solo-piano CD should re-establish his reputation as an improviser. He gives you everything you could ask for from a program of standards (including a couple of his own: “Darkest Before the Dawn, written with Johnny Mercer, and “You’re Gonna Hear from Me,” with his then-wife, Dory Previn): a fidelity to the “songfulness” of the vocal line with a composer’s attention to harmony and inner voices, and a jazzman’s flair for fleet embellishments. So you get the rarely played (or sung) opening verse of Rodgers & Hart’s “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” and a near-abstraction of Cole Porter’s “Night and Day” that shifts into subtle dissonance on the line “There’s an oh such a hungry yearning burning inside of me.” And throughout, there’s a modern classical composer’s ear for harmonic inventiveness that’s as up-to-the-minute as anything by, say, Brad Mehldau. Solitude might be the theme (Previn is recently divorced from classical violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter), but Alone is never sentimental — for a jazzman, that just wouldn’t be cool.

André Previn + Jim Hall + David Finck | Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood, 297 West St, Lenox | July 15 at 8:30 pm | 617.266.1200
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