The Jazzcat

The Bill Charlap Trio at Catalina Bar and Grill

by on Dec.05, 2004, under News


Additional Photos

Master of the trio are Bill Charlap, Peter Washington and

Kenny Washington. I first discovered Bill from the many albums he graces on the

Criss Cross Jazz Label.


This is a label who records some of the most phenomenal

players and Bill have made several albums for them, each just as solid as the

next. Tonight, here at the second set at Catalinas on a Saturday night, Bill

has chosen to perform compositions by, Hoagy Carmichael, Kenny Dorham, Alan

Wilder as well as many other great composers. Bill has the beautiful classic

standard bag all wrapped up. He plays with such great sensibilities making

every piece ever so slightly his own. His signature is almost beautiful piano music

itself! Kenny Dorham’s “Escapade” is deliciously marvelous.


If you can recall, back in the day, Red Garland, Paul

Chambers and Arthur Taylor ruled the world of the trio and were “THE” rhythm

section to have on your recordings. Well, this is certainly true but, the torch

had to be passed on to someone in the ranks and when you see Peter and Kenny on

so many recordings these days, you know who now holds the flame. The Washingtons are related

by the music which can be thicker than blood or water.


Bill vocally sounds like the weary traveler (just getting

over a cold and all) but, on piano, love and beauty prevail. He is such a

romantic and gives each standard a new found inspiration. His body exhibits the

dynamic emotion he puts in to every note. His gaze may fool you into thinking

that he is looking at you in the audience but actually, he is listening

intently to the other 2/3rds. The recipe calls for one part bass, one part

drums and you can add as much piano as you like. It really does not matter how

much of each ingredient you pour in the mix, it always comes out sweet!


Kenny is so wonderfully swift, soft and perfect on the

brushes. His foundation is solidly structured to hold up a trio that is warm

and colorful in their approach to the classic side of the music. Peter speaks

like a man who does not have to raise his voice to be heard. His ideas are

clear, clean and powerful enough to command thought and attentive listening.

You never have to ask the question twice because you heard it clearly the first


 image  image  image

If you are looking for class, style and beautiful approaches

to some old melodies then you have come to the right place and the right place

is the Bill Charlap Trio!


Coming up a Catalina

Bar and Grill is the

Jimmy Smith, Ron Carter and more. Make sure that you check out the full

calendar at


LeRoy Downs

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