A Beautiful Friendship
2004 Swingin’ Fox Music
Lenore Raphael on Piano
Rudy Lawless on Drums
Hilliard Greene on Bass
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 22, 2005
This CD is danceable, singable, and swingable. Lenore Raphael, with Hill Greene on bass and Rudy Lawless on drums, has created a collection of memorable and not so memorable, but magnetic songs that dazzle and delight the listener to enhance or exchange (for the better) one’s mood. Ms. Raphael’s piano leads are refreshing and resonant, as one imagines the unsung but well unleashed lyrics, by the likes of Cole Porter and Jule Styne.
#1 – A Beautiful Friendship – Composed by Kahn/Styne. This title song has an upbeat swing motif, with lead exchanges between pianist and bassist. Ms. Raphael keeps the theme lyrical, and Hill Greene keeps the interludes buoyant and blended.
#3 – Alone Together – Composed by Deitz/Schwartz. With Greene’s mesmerizing entrance, Ms. Raphael seizes the theme and glides across her keyboard, in smooth and characterized style. Rudy Lawless uses exotic percussion to add a surreal mood to this piece.
#6 – Stella by Starlight – Composed by Washington/Young. Ms. Raphael takes the lead early, never losing mood momentum, always keeping this oft moody ballad in rhythmic swing. Greene and Lawless merge riffs, with a clear thematic and tantalizing motif.
#7 – Darn that Dream – Composed by De Lange/Van Heusen. For some time Ms. Raphael plays this ballad solo, but soon Lawless enhances the mood with shakers and brushes. Greene has a solo, with piano and percussive backup, and the trio completes the song, as Lawless adds wind chimes to the flowing sound.