- Released: July 30, 2002
- Label: Savant
- 1.Georgia's in Town
- 2.Here, There and Everywhere
- 3.Eleanor Rigby
- 4.Winter's Gone
- 5.Lush Life
- 6.A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing
- 7.Something to Live For
- 8.Ramira the Dancer
- 9.No More
- 10.You're My Thrill
Personnel: Norman Simmons (piano); Eric Alexander (tenor saxophone); Henry Johnson (guitar); Lisle Atkinson (bass); Paul Wells (drums); Kevin Jones (percussion).
Recorded at Tedesco Recording Studios, Paramus, New Jersey on Januray 17, 2002.
Personnel: Norman Simmons (piano); Henry Johnson (guitar); Eric Alexander (tenor saxophone); Paul Wells (drums).
Liner Note Authors: James Gavin; Norman Simmons.
Recording information: Tedesco Recording Studios, Paramus, Ni (01/17/2002).
Photographer: R. Andrew Lepley.
Arranger: Norman Simmons.
Norman Simmons is known for his terrific piano playing, backing singers like Joe Williams and Carmen McRae, but he has recorded sporadically as a leader. This 2002 studio session for Savant is a long overdue chapter in Simmons' golden years, showcasing his talent as a composer and arranger as well. With rising tenor sax star Eric Alexander, and seasoned guitarist Henry Johnson among his supporting musicians, Simmons' playful reworking of "Sweet Georgia Brown" (titled "Georgia's in Town"), and his brisk "Winter's Gone" are excellent vehicles for blowing. His brief trio chart of the Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere" segues into an imaginative funky arrangement of "Eleanor Rigby," a piece that can be dreadfully dull in the wrong hands. Also not to be missed are a trio of works written by Billy Strayhorn, including an extended workout of the normally brief "Lush Life," "A Flower is A Lovesome Thing" (which incorporates an infectious bluesy vamp), and finally, a gently swinging "Something to Live For," which showcases Lisle Atkinson's tasty walking bass. Hopefully this excellent date will induce a follow up recording session. ~ Ken Dryden