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Album review: 'Dan Trudell Plays The Piano' 

The Dan Trudell Trio

"Dan Trudell Plays The Piano"


Dan Trudell could be a hot pianist on the New York scene, but he's chosen to live on a lake about halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee. Working those two scenes, he has played with Kurt Elling, Roy Hargrove, Eric Alexander, Nicholas Payton, and others. In fact, he's known as one of the top Hammond B-3 organists in the midwest. Hence, the unusual name of his album "Dan Trudell Plays The Piano." Perhaps because of all of his experience with the B-3, one of the most dramatic and expressive of all instruments, his approach to piano is unusually dynamic.

Whether Trudell is playing a standard like "If Ever I Would Leave You," or a contemporary tune like Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely," or Alicia Keys "A Woman's Worth," he adds a spritely swagger all his own. Trudell's originals are dedicated to piano greats McCoy Tyner ("McCoy For Now") and Hank Jones ("Jonesin'"). And there's one more, perhaps unconscious, tribute when the whole trio — with Matt Wilson on drums and Joe Sanders, bass — plays "That Old Black Magic" in a manner nicely reminiscent of The Ahmad Jamal Trio.

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