Cedar Walton Trio: Song of Delilah
The Music of Victor Young
2010 Venus Records, Inc.
(Walton Facebook Page)
Cedar Walton on Piano
Buster Williams on Bass
Willie Jones III on Drums
Produced by Tetsuo Hara and Todd Barkan
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
July 30, 2014
This CD review is a tribute to the late Cedar Walton, whom I reviewed in three live performances at Dizzy’s Club, Coca-Cola, starting in 2008, plus in featured CD tracks or concert composition.
All Compositions by Victor Young.
Cedar Walton recorded this CD as a tribute to Victor Young, composer and music director, who had 22 Academy Award nominations for his film scores. Cedar Walton has brought with him two top artists, Buster Williams on bass and Willie Jones III on drums. Each track has generous solos by each member of this well matched trio. Track #5, “Around the World (in 80 Days)”, won Mr. Young a posthumous Oscar.
#1 – Song of Delilah – This song, from Mr. Young’s score for the Cecil B. DeMille, Samson and Delilah, starring Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature, has exotic Middle Eastern rhythms and tonalities, drawing the listener in. In fact, after listening to the entire album, the listener wants to be the viewer, to see some of Victor Young’s impressive filmatic music repertoire on the films, themselves. One can hear the theme, amidst the virtuosic jazz interpretation, so masterfully imagined by Cedar Walton.
#2 – Beautiful Love - The lovely theme of this 1931 song, included in several films, was rapturously presented by Cedar Walton, with upbeat percussive support, by Willie Jones III. Buster Williams takes a riff toward the finale, with soft piano pulse and drum backup. Mr. Walton plays with confident breeziness and warmth of tone.
#3 – Golden Earrings – This song was Victor Young’s title score for a 1947 spy film, starring Marlene Dietrich and Ray Milland. Mr. Walton takes the theme and shares it with Mr. Williams, as they shift between piano and bass. Soon Mr. Jones is showcased in a rambunctious riff, with all drums and cymbals blazing. The finale is all Mr. Walton’s, and he makes the most of it, as the keys fade out.
#5 – Around the World – This title score from the 1956 film, starring Shirley MacLaine, Cantinflas, and David Niven, is jazzed up for this album. Each member of this trio takes the theme as well as an intertwined riff, shifting phrases and tempos. In the track’s center minute, a swinging, lyrical passage ensues.