Recording information: Dick Burwen Studio, Lexington, MA (10/12/1975).
This was the great pianist Dick Wellstood's personal favorite record and one can understand why. The music is very well recorded and Wellstood sounds quite inspired throughout the solo set. For the 1994 CD reissue, the original eight songs are joined by eight additional (and previously unreleased) performances and the quality stays consistently high. Wellstood, who had an open mind toward more modern styles of jazz while keeping his stride piano style undiluted, performs surprising versions of "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" and John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" in addition to some swing standards and classics associated with James P. Johnson, Fats Waller and Earl Hines. Among the highpoints are "Snowy Morning Blues," "If Dreams Come True," "Rosetta" and a piece based on a classical work ("Paganini's Thing"). This is an essential acquisition for classic jazz collectors. ~ Scott Yanow