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Tender Feelin's (1959)

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Duke Pearson

Tender Feelin's is an appropriate title for Duke Pearson's second album for Blue Note. The record is a lovely, relaxed collection of ballads, standards, and jazz staples, with a few originals thrown in for good measure. Since Pearson sticks to the trio format, supported by bassist Gene Taylor and drummer Lex Humphries, the mood of the album remains intimate and low-key. Pearson flourishes in this setting, whether he's playing blues, romantic ballads, or surprisingly lyrical improvised solos. Pearson would later explore more adventurous territory, as well as funkier grooves, but Tender Feelin's remains a wonderfully understated, romantic mainstream jazz record. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine