Great to see pianist Rob Barron, often to be heard playing at the Late Late Show at Ronnie Scott’s and recently part of the piano jazz festival at the club, debuting here.
There are lots of familiar tunes contained on the record, the album bookended by ‘Too Close For Comfort’ and ‘Moonlight in Vermont.’ And you might think that’s a little safe. But what lifts the album is the sheer enthusiasm the quartet bring to all the standards, Barron and guitarist Colin Oxley providing plenty of locomotion and melodic interplay. And melody is at the heart of the album, the quartet don’t set out to reinvent the wheel.
Barron is influenced by the heart of the modern mainstream bop and beyond tradition identified with the likes of Cedar Walton, Wynton Kelly and Hank Jones and you could close your eyes and locate What’s in Store easily back in the heyday of the Blue Note era. So it’s certainly a retro choice but dusted down just enough by the quartet to make what’s on offer perfectly fresh. Worth getting particularly if standards are your thing.