This week in Standard Focus spurred on by hearing a track from the upcoming archival Cory Weeds and Zev Feldman produced release that sets the tone winningly for Bish at the Bank: Live in Baltimore (Cellar Live, a 21 April release) is via thrilling edge of the seat visceral soprano playing from Brother Jack McDuff player Harold Vick the fabric of it all anchored by the superb comping of Walter Bishop Jr (1927-1998) on 'Willow Weep For Me' - the Bish the pianist who was on Miles Davis' Dig (Prestige, 1951 - nb Newk is also on that classic) and Jackie McLean's Capuchin Swing (Blue Note, 1960).
The 11 minute-plus instrumental version acts as a reset and new way into the tune.
Our favourite version of the luminous 1930s Ann Ronell tearjerker remains Dexter Gordon's on Our Man in Paris (Blue Note, 1963) - long tall Dexter playing tenor in that treatment with Bud Powell, Klook - Kenny Clarke, often seen in bebop parlance as the originator of the ''bomb'' and ''klook-a-mop'' sounds that are defining elements of bebop - and Pierre Michelot.
The Bishop combination's treatment came a few years later recording live at The Famous Ballroom in 1967. The Cellar Live release also includes numbers rendered at another Baltimore spot, The Madison Club, from the previous year.
A few years earlier Ray Charles had covered the song and even more contemporaneously Lena Horne and Nancy Wilson. On the instrumental side, more a good juxtaposition here, Lucky Thompson released a treatment in 1965 on the Lucky Is Back! (then, so is love) Rivoli release because Vick's sound although far more keening and wild is in keeping with Lucky's extraordinary prowess on the soprano, accompanied on Lucky is Back by Tommy Flanagan (who had earlier made jazz history with Trane on Giant Steps) twinklingly on celeste at the beginning.
Walter Bishop Jr, photo: detail from the Bish at the Bank: Live in Baltimore cover art