The Artist

“September in the Rain”

(Cellar Live)

Vancouver jazz scenester John Lee had a difficult decision to make. More than proficient on bass, drums, piano, organ and guitar, the South Korean-born Berklee grad pondered which instruments he should play on his debut recording, The Artist (Cellar Live). Ultimately, he heeded the advice of Cellar Live chief and frequent collaborator Cory Weeds and opted to remain behind the double bass, while leaving other instrumentation to his band mates. Pianist Miles Black and drummer Carl Allen round out Lee’s trio, while Weeds lends tenor sax to three tracks. Lee’s taste is obvious in his playing as well as his song selection; he culls tunes from the songbooks of Mulgrew Miller, Benny Green, Joshua Redman and George Robert, and completes the song cycle with a couple of original tunes and a couple of standards. Among the latter is a jaunty, tempo-shifting romp through Harry Warren and Al Dubin’s “September in the Rain,” with Black sauntering happily in the company of Lee’s walking bass lines and Allen’s dancing drum patterns. It all adds up to a rather cheerful rendition of a durable melody that’s been covered by everyone from Al Jolson and Dinah Washington to The Beatles and Rod Stewart.

Purchase Album:

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz