Bill Charlap: All Through The Night

Reissuing the pianist's 1997 CD on vinyl might typify modern-day regression but at any rate be in period with the trio's straightahead style


Although this is a shiny, new gatefold LP the music actually comes from a December 1997 CD release by Criss Cross. Like several other record companies, they can see the growing popularity of vinyl and the audio quality of the format (complete, in time, with clicks and pops) and have reissued this as an LP. Original artwork and sleeve notes have been retained but are much bigger and easier to read.

Charlap chose a programme of solid standards in a played in straightahead bop style. The piano soloist is to the fore with sturdy, sympathetic accompaniment from the Washingtons – Peter on bass, Kenny on drums (no relation). Bill swings it fast, then slowly in ballad mode and on a couple of loping pieces. His touch is light throughout, but overall, it is more Oscar Peterson than Bill Evans trio.

All Through The Night gets a lively uptempo reading with Charlap’s lines fizzing and the two Washington’s providing ideal support for his style of playing. Peter has a short drum workout here. Vernon Duke’s delicate Roundabout is played very slowly with just bass in strong support as is Alec Wilder’s It’s So Peaceful In The Country.

The programme consists entirely of well-known standards which prove ideal for Charlap’s lyrical approach. Put On A Happy Face is ideal for a fast romp, with the piano mostly prominent. The two Washingtons are well equipped to provide just the right support to suit each selection.

This issue retains George Shearing’s original sleeve note, although he seems to have been more concerned with giving the history and first performance of each selection than with reviewing what the trio are doing with them. The music is familiar to most already. But anyway, this well-crafted, inventive performance speaks for itself. 

All Through The Night; Roundabout; Put On A Happy Face; It’s So Peaceful In The Country; The Best Thing For You Would Be Me; Pure Imagination; Nobody’s Hear; Dance Only With Me/ Dream Dancing; I’ve Just Seen Her (47.18)
Charlap (p); Peter Washington (b); Kenny Washington (d). NYC, 22 December 1997.
Criss Cross Jazz 1153