Pat Moran (p), Scott LaFaro (b), Gene Gammage, Johnny Whited (d), Beverly Kelly (vcl)
Reference: FSRCD 440
Bar code: 8427328604406
In the Fifties, the depths of the Maryland Hotel near Chicagos northside housed a cellar known as the Cloister Inn, a room best known as a showplace for fine, fresh jazz potentials. Such was the case of young pianist Pat Morans trio with vocalist Bev Kelly. In December 1957, for few weeks, the now legendary Scott LaFaro was the trios featured bass player, and during his engagement Audio Fidelity Records grabbed the opportunity to record the trio.
In 1960, LaFaro said that he didnt like to look back, because the whole point in jazz is doing it now. I dont even like any of my records except maybe the first one I did with Pat Moran on Audio Fidelity. Sparked by Morans solid piano and complemented by the tremendous energy, youthful spirit and unlimited talent of Scott LaFaro, along with the fine work of drummer Johnny Whited, the combo, with vocalist Bev Kelly on several tracks, produced a succession of highly zestful and appealing interpretations.
"If you are familiar with the name Pat Moran, you know your Chicago mainstream jazz from the late '50s. A wonderful stylist molded in the musical post-bop-to-cool visage of a Red Garland, Wynton Kelly, or Bill Evans, Ms. Moran played spirited standard fare, and on this CD interpretations of Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way," Oscar Pettiford's "Collard Greens and Black-Eyed Peas," and the simple "Blues," all of which advance well beyond mere cocktail lounge background music. This reissue, originally from the Audio Fidelity label releases This Is Pat Moran and Beverly Kelly Sings, features Moran's bright piano on American popular songs for four of the eight tracks with her trio, including the vaunted bassist Scott LaFaro. Two years after these sessions, LaFaro would join the trio of Bill Evans, and was killed in a car accident two years after that in the summer of 1961.
Also included in the instrumental fare is an obscure Frank Rosolino composition, "Onilosor," which perfectly showcases LaFaro's tight, innovative bass wizardry. Bev Kelly, a skilled singer in the Anita O'Day tradition, has at it for another ten songs and sounds great, and Moran ends the affair with two solo piano performances. A precious bit of history from that great and enduring year in jazz, 1957, this extra-special document should make all listeners wish they had heard more of Moran and Kelly, not to mention the immortal Scott LaFaro, who reflected on this date as one of his most memorable and enjoyable."
Michael G. Nastos -All Music Guide