Cedar Walton (p), Pat Senatore (b), Billy Higgins (d)
Reference: FSRCD 916
Bar code: 8427328609166
Originally released in 1988 under the name of the V.I.P. Trio, this audiophile recording—intended solely for the Japanese market—finally receives worldwide distribution. Veteran bassist Pat Senatore produced Standards, which puts him in the legendary company of pianist Cedar Walton and drummer Billy Higgins. Senatore’s soulful and lyrical bass shines in a program of jazz standards, recorded in audiophile quality sound.
In the mid 1980s, Walton had relocated to California, working up and down the coast, out to Japan, and back to New York when he was booked there. Senatore had a record deal with Japanese businessman Ken Akemoto, who stopped over in Los Angeles to record a handful of albums. The bassist chose Walton —even then one of the standard-bearers of mainstream jazz piano— though they had never worked together before. Higgins was Walton’s drummer of choice and had been the house drummer at Senatore’s Malibu jazz club Pasquale’s.
Though Senatore was the leader of the record, he respectfully shared billing with Walton and Higgins under the name of The V.I.P. Trio. The musicians came to terms easily, and the results were gratifying to all concerned. Walton’s masterful piano, Senatore’s soulful bass and the dancing sticks of Higgins made for a magical a combination that could scarcely be topped.
"Back in 1988, bassist Pat Senatore had finished his stint with Herb Alpert and was running his own hip jazz club Pasquale’s in Malibu. He was usually the bassist for the incoming artists, and with locals like Cedar Walton/p and Billy Higgins/dr looking for night gigs, he could provide visiting artists like Joe Henderson or Zoot Sims with first rate rhythm. Here, Senatore’s trio is found in a March ’88 session, and they sound wonderfully buoyant as they deliver classy standards.
Senatore himself delivers a boogaloo groove on a soulful “The Shadow of Your Smile” and is classy to Walton’s glassy during “Early Autumn.” Walton supplies warm chords on “Body and Soul” and a bluesy bop for “I Should Lose You” going rich and melodic for “Autumn Leaves.” Higgins, meanwhile is a master of the brushes like Cezanne’ for “Easy Walker” and “It Might As Well Be Spring” while he gently drives the pulse up and down for “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” and going Fred Astaire nimble for “Softly As A Morning Sunrise.” Timeless sounds and grooves."
George W. Harris (February 27, 2017)