Kicking off our new ''standard in focus'' regular feature of standards effectively interpreted and crucially not done-to-death in recent release cycles, the first is Duke Pearson's 'Idle Moments' introduced to the global jazz canon on guitar great Grant Green's 1965 released Blue Note album of the same name that has Pearson himself on piano and casual loping time-feel drumming from Al Harewood. The only other recent version we know is back in 2020 delivered by The Toughest Tenors. It lacked a certain sparkle.
That was then - this is now. Tenor saxist Wayne Escoffery is a lodestar, Mike Moreno provides the empathetic guitar part and David Kikoski is as pristine as ever on piano while the bassist is Ugonna Okegwo who was tremendous on the 5-star Tom Harrell record Oak Tree issued last year. The time feel provided by Mark Whitfield Jr is very faithful to Harewood's conception back in the 60s. Escoffery is a highly expressive player. Hearing him play with The Mingus Big Band a few times down the years, most memorably at Ronnie Scott's in 2016 up front in the sax line alongside altoist Mark Gross Escoffery that distant Wednesday night noteworthy for his sheer tone, command and ease on the bandstand. He isolates the very essence of 'Idle Moments' and honours the tune so knowingly. Wayne Escoffery, photo: Like Minds cover art detail