New Stories, the piano trio made up of Marc Seales, bassist Doug Miller, and drummer John Bishop, have undertaken the daunting task of reviving eleven tracks from the brilliant bop composer and pianist, Elmo Hope. Hope was a much lesser known contemporary of of Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. He only lived to be 43, but left a legacy of bop compositions. Elmo passed away in 1967, but his wife, Bertha, an excellent pianist herself, has continued to champion Elmo's compositions and she plays piano herself on three tracks on this issue - Low Tide, Monique, and Three Silver Quarters.
There are many other all-star performers on this CD, including alto saxist, Bobby Porcelli, on four songs; Don Sickler on trumpet, with Bertha on piano, on Monique and Three Silver Quarters. You'll also find the super rhythm section of pianist Ronnie Matthews, and Peter Washington on bass, and Kenny Washington on drums, assisting vocalist, Roberta Gambarini, who puts lyrics to Hope's This Sweet Sorrow.
Produced by Don Sickler and recorded by Rudy Van Gelder, at his mythic studio, New Stories have come up with a brilliant Elmo Hope tribute. Liner notes mention that Elmo Hope was Monk's favorite contemporary composer according to Monk's widow, Nellie. New Stories' "Hope is in the Air" gets our rare ***** recommendation.