Personnel: Beegie Adair (piano); Beegie Adair; Roger Spencer (bass instrument); Chris Brown (drums).
Audio Mixer: Brendan Harkin.
Liner Note Author: Will Friedwald.
Recording information: Wildwood, Nashville, TN.
In her series of albums devoted to the music of classic pop songwriters, jazz pianist Beegie Adair comes to George Gershwin on Embraceable You. As usual, Adair, accompanied by a rhythm section, addresses the familiar melodies and only embellishes them slightly in her performances. The two exceptions to that rule on this disc are both songs that do not fit under the "romantic" rubric of the subtitle. On "Fascinating Rhythm," Adair, perhaps mindful of Gershwin's own variations on the tune, states the melody solo at the outset and then, joined by the bass and drums, spends the bulk of the track improvising. She also takes considerable liberties with the final track, "Summertime." But most of the album is given over to what might be considered "cocktail jazz" versions of the Gershwin favorites, safe treatments that don't stray far from the melody lines. ~ William Ruhlmann