Don Glanden
Only Believe
CJR 1093

Don Glanden, leader, piano; Tom Lawton, piano; Ernie Watts, tenor sax; Tom Giacabetti, guitar; Ken Filiano, Kevin MacConnel, and Paul Klinefelter, bass; Tony Palmer and Fred Biondi, drums

Among the many qualities that improve the public acceptance of a fine Jazz musician's portfolio are choice of material, competence, and exposure. The third can often be the biggest problem. In some cases, practical visibility might be nearly impossible if not for publications like Jazz Now. However, the first two qualities are found in abundance on this CD by versatile pianist Don Glanden.

Glanden's choice of tunes is diverse, his interpretations high-end. The pianist is a quality musician with an extraordinary conception and an impressive touch. Track 2 is a four-part invention with, perhaps, the stamp of a Schoenberg matrix. Conversely, Glanden exposes his tenderness by rendering Jimmy Van Heusen's "Here's That Rainy Day" with heartfelt gentleness before gracefully exploring added melodic possibilities at a medium lilt. The three other standards, "Misty," "Angel Eyes," and "I Can't Get Started," are also played with loving elegance. Glanden's "Blues for Rock Hall" is cute but complex and leaps through fiery blues hoops. Everyone on this date is accomplished, but the dominant voice is Glanden's. His lush ballads and witty creations are of the highest emotional order, and his classical training shines through like a summoning beacon.

by Tom Bowers

New Sounds - CD Reviews March 2000