Pianist Larry Vuckovich has recorded in a variety of settings in his career, ranging from swing to music that reflects his roots in Eastern Europe. Street Scene is one of his finest showcases for it puts the focus on Vuckovich's skills on the piano in a trio that on four selections is augmented by one or two Latin percussionists. The Latin pieces, which include "As Time Goes by Mambo" and "Blue Bohemia Suite," are particularly infectious. The trio numbers, which include standards, a few obscurities (including Sonny Clark's "News for Lulu") and some originals by the pianist, are swinging, boppish, and inventive, attached to the tradition but not predictable. With stimulating support from bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Akira Tana, this is an easily enjoyable and recommended release from one of San Francisco's finest jazz pianists.
Pianist Larry Vuckovich revisits his landmark 1980 recording on this combined reissue and new release. Prefiguring the much-lauded work of Dave Douglas and the Tiny Bell Trio, guitarist Brad Shepik, and even John Zorn, the Yugoslavian-born Vuckovich combines the ethnic melodies and rhythms from his native Balkans with modal jazz. Never as avant-garde as his contemporaries, Vuckovich nonetheless pushes the boundaries of both jazz and folk styles. The original tracks featured the brilliant vibe playing of Bobby Hutcherson, who unfortunately does not reprise his role on the four new pieces.
Intermittently on the road as an acoustic duo between gaps in the schedules of their respective ultra-hip fusion bands, Larry Coryell and Steve Khan managed to record several shows and then panned the tape stream to find the nuggets for posterity. There are choices that might have been made out of the fashions of the day, such as the version of Chick Corea's "Spain" that opens the album's first side. Thankfully there are also selections that are here because both guitarists must have realized they were playing magnificently.