Joan Hickey: Soulmates, featuring Buster Williams
This is an interesting album from pianist Joan Hickey with two equally strong trios and trumpeter Jeff Helgesen rounding it out to a quartet on two tracks. Dennis Carroll and George Fludas on bass and drums respectively open the program. NYC bassist Buster Williams guests on five of the eleven tracks along with Joel Spencer on drums.
The repertoire consists of many tunes popular among pianists the world over. In addition to standards like Old Devil Moon, Midnight Waltz and The Summer Knows, Joan contributes two wonderful originals and presents interesting arrangements that draw the listener in. One of the highlights and surprises is Buster William's tune Dual Force, also known as Firewater as recorded by the Jazz Crusaders and Herbie Hancock.
There are many great piano players in Chicago, one seemingly under every stone. This aside, Joan has a nice touch, excellent concept, good taste and a tight trio that sets her apart from the pack.—MV
Available on the Chicago Lakeside Jazz, widely distributed in Chicago stores or via their website www.cljazz.com