I wonder what it was that prevented André Previn from becoming just another Brubeck? His phenomenal technique, his links with conventional music, and his European origin would all seem to push him in the same direction. Perhaps he is saved by an essential seriousness, his study of early jazz and by the advantage of being a realist.
In this set he misses the presence of Shelly Manne, whose musical taste and general influence is far stronger than is sometimes thought. Capp is a very good accompanying drummer but it would be idle to pretend that he contributes much of positive worth to this session.
Red Mitchell is a musician of another kind, as one can tell by his featured playing in “Much Too Late” the first of the blues pair. This thoughtful melodic piece forms the high spot of the record.
The set starts and ends with some gentle fireworks, “I’ll Remember April” being given a very sparkling treatment. There is much of interest in the third track, which contains fruity block chording and an insistent light swing.
This is an attractive set, with some surface gloss which is inevitable from this musician. It does not contain much that is exciting but it will repay careful study.
I’ll Remember April; Much Too Late; You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To (23 min.) – It Could Happen To You; Low And Inside; I’m Beginning To See The Light (22 min.)
André Previn (p); Red Mitchell (bs); Frankie Capp (d).
(Vogue LAC 12230. 12in LP. 36s. 5½d.)